Special Needs

Develop Life Skills
Stay Healthy
Make Friends

The Rappahannock Area YMCA’s Special Needs program gives individuals with an intellectual and/or developmental disability access to classes and activities that encourage self-sufficiency, socialization and staying active—all qualities that help them learn, grow, and thrive.

Sensory Friendly Open Swim

The Rappahannock Area YMCA is excited to offer Sensory Friendly Open Swim time! These open swim times are free and available to the community for people of all ages. Registration is required to attend.

Spectrum Sea Turtles

Spectrum Sea Turtles is an aquatic program geared towards people on the autism spectrum. It is designed to improve cognitive processing, socialization, motor function and skills, and desensitization with exercises and activities in the pool for all ages. This program takes place at the Massad Family YMCA’s Wellness Pool on Fridays from 4:00 – 5:00pm.   

To register, fill out the application linked below and email to jared@fusionpta.com.

In-Person Classes

These exercise and volunteer opportunities are designed specifically for those with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The program has appropriately designed activities and a focus on physical, mental and health benefits. Goals and benefits include: cardiovascular endurance, increased range of motion, increased strength, appropriate social skills, and improvement in conceptual and practical skills. 

Special Needs Exercise Classes – Teen/Adult – $5 for Non-Members 

  • Wednesdays 11:00-12:00 PM – Massad Y  
  • Thursdays 12:00-12:45 PM – Ron Rosner Y  

Volunteer Time – Teen/Adult – FREE – No Registration 

  • Tuesday 10:00-11:00 AM – Massad Y – Seasonal Location
    (Garden: April – October, Cafe: November – March) 
  • Wednesday 1:00-2:00 PM – Massad Y – Studio A
  • Thursday 10:00-11:00 AM – Massad Y – Cafe

Virtual Classes

Zumba with Aryona on Zoom – Teen/Adult – FREE 

  • Tuesdays 11:00-11:30 AM 

Movements can be done in a small space or from a chair. Wear comfortable shoes. Despite her physical and Intellectual Disabilities, Aryona shares her passion of music and dance with others as a Zumba Instructor, particularly to those who have Special Needs or limited mobility.  Whatever your level of movement may be, please join us for 30 minutes of non-judgmental, at your own pace fun! 

Click here to join the Zumba class on Zoom 

Special Olympics Tennis Training

Join us for an ongoing tennis training program for all levels of beginner players to advanced players with intellectual disability ages 8 through adult. Learn to hold, swing, and connect the tennis racket with the tennis ball. More advanced players will learn match play. Strength exercises will also be introduced and taught. 

  • WHEN: Thursdays 1:00-2:00pm. Summer 6/8-9/3. Fall 2023-Spring 2024 (Once a month/day TBD)
  • This class is FREE, but class registration and Special Olympics forms are required to participate.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Bring your own tennis racket or use one of the Y’s. Dress in workout clothes of shorts, sweatpants, or tennis skirt, t-shirt, and tennis shoes. There are two required registrations. First, register with the Y using the Program Directory below, then fill out and bring a New Athlete Medical Waiver Special Olympics to the first class.

Program Directory

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