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Programs for Children with Special Needs

Hillsborough YMCA

Creative Movement (Ages 6 years to 14 years)
  • Creative Movement for Children with Different Abilities or Special Needs (Ages 6 years to 14 years)
    Come dance with us in a safe, structured environment led by staff with 15+ years experience with children with different abilities. We will work on creative self expression, body awareness, social skills and developing strengths. Being different is what makes us beautiful! We welcome everyone in this class.

    Classes are 45 minutes long.

Somerset Hills YMCA

Our programs for children, ages 5 years to 18 years, with special needs provide the opportunity to engage in exercise and recreation while they enjoy building self-confidence, social skills and a sense of accomplishment.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Jasinski at 908 766 7898 x503 or via webmail.


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Dance & Gymnastics (Ages 4 years to 16 years)

  • Creative Movement
    A dance class specifically designed for children with special needs, this class teaches gentle stretching, rhythm, and body awareness. Parent/Guardian must provide an aid for this class.

  • Me and You Gymnastics
    Join your little jumper for some gymnastic fun. Participants will have an opportunity to do guided stretching and play with gymnastics equipment.

  • Music and Movement
    Specifically designed for children with special needs, this dance class teaches rhythm, movement and body awareness. Parent/Guardian must provide aid for class.

  • Music and Movement II
    A dance class designed for children with special needs. Must have teacher approval prior to registration of class.

  • Musical Expression
    Participants will have an opportunity to express themselves using a variety of music techniques including singing, instruments, creative movement, and rhythm. Instructor will work on music skills such as starting/stopping, indoor voice, and singing in tune. Participants will develop foundational music skills in a fun and interactive environment.

  • Jam-nastics
    A gymnastics class designed for children with special needs. Parent/Guardian must provide an aid for the class.

Sports Programs (Ages 5 years to 12 years)
  • Sports Remix (Ages 5 years to 8 years)
    Somerset Hills YMCA now offers a fun, 6-week program designed for children with special needs. This sports program, for children ages 5-12 years, will focus on the fundamentals of a variety of popular sports including basketball, soccer, football, and T-ball/baseball. The PEC Mentor program coordinator will arrange a mentor for each registered child.

    If you have any questions about that process, you may contact Angie at pecmentors@gmail.com. Registration for the class can be completed in-person at Somerset Hills YMCA or online.

    This program will be held on the following Saturdays: 3/3, 3/10, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, and 4/28.

  • Sports Remix (Ages 9 years to 12 years)
    Somerset Hills YMCA now offers a fun, 6-week program designed for children with special needs. This sports program, for children ages 5-12 years, will focus on the fundamentals of a variety of popular sports including basketball, soccer, football, and T-ball/baseball. The PEC Mentor program coordinator will arrange a mentor for each registered child.

    If you have any questions about that process, you may contact Angie at pecmentors@gmail.com. Registration for the class can be completed in-person at Somerset Hills YMCA or online.

    This program will be held on the following Saturdays: 3/3, 3/10, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, and 4/28.

Saturdays in Motion (SIM) (Ages 3 years to 15 years)

Recently celebrating its 26th anniversary, Saturdays in Motion is the longest running recreational program for children with autism in the United States. Children living with autism and their families join together at the Y on certain Saturdays for two hours of recreation at Somerset Hills YMCA. This program is run by YMCA volunteers who carefully guide the children through an hour of gym time and a second hour in the pool. Siblings are welcome. This mission-based program is free to the community.

Media Coverage of Saturdays in Motion

In an effort to ensure that we have adequate space and volunteers, and to ensure safety, we require that every child participating in SIM be pre-registered for each event. Walk-in registrations cannot be accepted. Parents must stay at the Y for the duration of the program. Program runs Fall - Spring.


You may register by phone by calling 908 766 7898 or online.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Jasinski at 908 766 7898 x503 or via webmail.



  • Saturdays in Motion
    At Saturdays in Motion, children living with autism and their families join together at the Y on certain Saturdays for two hours of recreation at the Somerset Hills YMCA. This program is run by YMCA volunteers who help monitor and guide the children through an hour of gym time and a second hour in the pool.

    At the Y, we understand the stress and challenges that often come with caring for an individual with special needs. We hope to support families with programs that offer fun and joy while helping you to connect and grow together through enriching experiences.

Special Olympics Swim Team (Ages 12 years and above)

Our Special Olympics Swim Team competes at the local, county, state and national level. Practices begin in December and go through June.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Jasinski at 908 766 7898 x503 or email.

S.T.A.R.S. Swim Lessons for Children with Special Needs (Ages 3 to 12 years)
S.T.A.R.S. (Sharing Therapies And Realizing Self Strengths) Swim Lessons for children with special needs group children together based on similar abilities and guide them through swim lessons in a smaller staff-to-student ratio than traditional swim classes. To help select the appropriate class for your child, please see our Swim Lesson Selector tools. For children who require individual attention, please inquire about our Private Swim Lessons.

  • S.T.A.R.S. Swim Classes (Ages 3 to 12 years)

    This class is designed to mirror a typical YMCA swim class, with the ultimate goal of moving participants to a traditional swim class. 1:3 ratio.

    Classes are 30 minutes long.

Fitness for Teens with Special Needs (Ages 14 years to 18 years)
  • Teen Fitness
    A group exercise class designed for teens with special needs. Participants will work on strength, cardio, balance and coordination.

Somerville YMCA


Special Needs Swim Classes & Programs (Ages 6 to 11 years)

  • Special Needs - Stage 1: Water Acclimation
    For children with moderate to severe neurological, physical or social challenges. Instructor teaches students how to swim and provides guidance on in-water exercises. Adult must accompany the child in the water.