We have all felt the effects of COVID19, to different degrees, however, emerging research has uncovered that this new normal may uniquely stress our vulnerable, special needs community not only physically but also mentally. It is therefore most important to continue, or begin, an appropriate program, according to your specific needs, for this challenging new world we now live in.
Below you will find a few of the available social, behavioral & physical support options New Jersey has to offer. This is but a list of schools, centers, and in-home assistance, not a specific recommendation. Please be certain to research each option adequately to ensure they properly meet your family’s needs.
Looking for a social skills group for your child?
A Friendly Face provides ABA therapy and social skills group opportunities for children with autism. Group therapy includes yoga, music, arts, and recreational activities at the center, the school, and the daycare. Direct ABA therapy can also be provided in-home. Their Social Skills Camp provides participants who have social difficulties with direct social skills instruction as well as immediate opportunities to practice the skills they have learned in real life settings. They also offer Teen social groups. All CDC and Board of Ed guidelines are followed here, and most insurance plans are accepted. Located in Bayonne, Jersey City, and Hoboken, 718-698-1300, For ages 3-12. Contact email.
A Sun Star provides therapeutic alternatives for children, youths, adults, and their families. Services can be performed at home, school, and/or the center around your schedule. The focus at Sun Star is to address the whole person, individually, within their own environment. Their scope of services is wide with expertise in most social, psychological, and physical disorder, including but not limited to autism, depression, abuse, trauma, crisis prevention, HIV/Aids, abandonment, grief and much more. They offer group counseling for boys and girls groups, life skills, anger management and Saturday Programs. Behavioral assistance is offered for youths, adolescents and adults. Located in Bloomfield NJ. 973-771-3300. Contact email.
Abilities Therapy Network is pediatric therapy center for all ages and levels. Provides services in speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and psychological therapy. Options for individual and group treatments. Their Sense-Ational Therapy Groups offer a state-of-the-art, sensory friendly space where children can join together for socially engaging, multi-sensory, developmental fun. Groups are open to children of all ages and abilities. Activities include sensational speakers, yoga, handwriting, super social skills and more, and are planned and conducted by a Speech Therapist and Occupational Therapist. These activities are designed to nurture your child's individual needs in a group setting, develop their communication skills, encourage social awareness and coping skills, foster friendship and team -building skills, and to build body awareness, strength and coordination. Located in Midland Park, 201-447-0303 for Ages 18 months to 18 years. Contact email.
Behavior Therapy Associates offers clinical services, consultations, trainings and virtual/remote support for children and parents with social and behavioral challenges. Areas of specialty include autism spectrum disorder, positive parenting, social emotional learning, psychoeducational and psychological evaluations and more. They offer social skills groups for children ages 2-6, adolescents (6-17), girls (6-17), and adults (ages 18-25), with weekly meetings. Groups are led by experienced clinicians who use behavior therapy. They also offer positive parent groups, behavioral parent training and family therapy. Located in Somerset, NJ. 732-873-1212. Contact Email
Bergen Pediatric Therapy offers a 6000 sq ft facility providing pediatric therapies with a multidisciplinary approach. Services include occupational therapy in a sensory gym, physical therapy, speech therapy, social skills games, aquatic therapy in a heated, saltwater pool, intensive listening therapy as well as behavioral therapy for children ages 18 months to 18 years. Their vision is to help your child achieve their best life through strengthening their weaknesses and optimizing their strengths. Their social groups are designed to help children of various ages and disabilities to interact with their peers. Depending on the level and age of the children in the group the goals may vary but generally, the goal is to develop the ability to maintain conversation, listen, take turns, and make requests, and state desires and feelings. Social Group Therapy is overseen by a special educator and speech / language pathologist, who helps to facilitate these goals in a setting of two, three or four children. Located in Westwood, NJ, 201.722.4700. Contact Form.
Fairleigh Dickinson Social Skills Group is a program designed to help pre-teens with common social skills. Services include trainings to relieve shyness and social anxiety, impulsivity, friendship & relationship issues, and misreading cues. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. While the children meet, there will also be simultaneous group meetings for parents to review what their child will be learning and working on. Programs are 10-weeks each in the spring and fall and 8-weeks in the summer. This program serves children ages 8 to 12 years and is located at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Metropolitan Campus in Teaneck, NJ or the Florham Campus in Madison, NJ. Call 201-692-2000.
First Children Services: Strive Autism Center serves kids of all ages, providing private school, transitional programs for small groups at the center, as well as private, certified instruction at home. Expertise here lies in assistance for children on the autism spectrum, as well as those with behavioral, social, and mental disabilities. They are now offering ABA therapy in the home and via telehealth. They are also offering online social skills groups and in-person Minecraft groups in for children ages 3-21. Their social skills groups are designed and supervised by a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). Children learn social skills, self-management, and problem-solving skills in a fun, interactive way and include play groups, lego groups, Minecraft groups, and teen and young adult groups. Available groups differ by location. They serve children ages 18 months through high school with autism spectrum disorder or related diagnosis. Strive Autism Centers are located in Cherry Hill, Fanwood, and Montgomeryville, PA. 908-654-2470. Contact form & department information.
Good Talking People offers comprehensive private practice offering services for everyone from toddlers to adults with varying delays and disorders including auditory processing, developmental delays, cognitive and/or motor difficulties, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and more. Social Learning/Social Skills: They provide individual and group therapy to assist in the development of pragmatic language, social communication and social learning. They teach strategies for understanding social rules, what is expected in social situations, ways to increase social comfort and how to communicate and connect with others. They offer individual therapy for social learning and group therapy services as well as year round social skills programs for preschoolers 18 months - 3 years, 3-5 years, kids 6-18 years and adults. Contact Email. Two locations in Teaneck and Ridgewood, NJ. 201.837.8371.
Harbor Haven Camp is a unique, comprehensive summer day camp for children with mild special needs. They serve children ages 3 to 15 years plus offer a LIFE Program for 16-18 year-olds. Their approach combines the traditional summer camp activities with therapies for those needing social and behavioral support. Information is gathered from each child’s IEP and their summer experience is tailored to assist them in bridging that gap before returning to school. Whether they need help with social skills, academics, speech, or occupational therapy, 8-10 children will be grouped accordingly with 3-4 adult professionals per group. Located in West Orange, NJ. 908-964-5411. Contact Email.
JDK Social Station is a multi-sensory teaching facility enhancing learning, social and living skills for children with challenges in these areas. They offer individualized, summer and year-long programs for everyone to reach their maximum potential. Located in Secaucus, NJ. 833-535-1212. For Ages 3 to 16 years. Contact Form.
Marble Jam Kids is a creative arts therapy & enrichment center for children and adults. Offering classes (in-person and remote) in art, music, film, photography, yoga, fitness, social skills, play therapy and more. All provided services focus to meet the challenges of those individuals with autism, developmental, emotional, and social disabilities, as well as other special needs through artistic pursuits. Located in Hackensack, NJ. 201-497-6512. Contact Form.
Tiny Little Pieces Learning Center is a loving preschool and daycare center for typical and non-typical developing children with early intervention for those with speech, gross motor, and developmental delays. Equal and fair opportunities are offered to every child to ensure they reach their maximum potential to establish the necessary social skills and friendships. Located in Bellmawr, NJ. 856-402-2958. For Ages infant to 6years old. Send message through FB Page.
Best wishes to you all! We hope you found this list helpful. Should you know of any additional centers offering similar services we should add to this list, please feel free to let us know.
Please link to our special needs directory for more helpful resources.