created at: 2013-02-07

The Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston provides a wide range of programs and services for children, teens and adults with different abilities. Some of the classes include adapted aquatics, social skills groups, activity groups, yoga and much more. The following is a story about the impact our programs have on young participants.

Six-year-old Joshua (not his real name) participates in swimming lessons and the Fun & Games class through the JCC. Both programs are extremely important to him due to his diagnosis of autism.

Fun & Games is a social skills program where the children learn to socialize with each other through play. At first, Joshua was very quiet and required prompting by staff to follow directions. He needed to hold the hand of a staff member in order to participate. Now he is able to set up an activity, such as an obstacle course, and lead the other children in the game. He did this with the most beautiful smile on his face! Joshua’s mother said, “For a boy who was less than interested in what other children were doing, he now has an interest in developing friendships and reciprocal play.”

The adapted private swim lessons have brought Joshua from a water-loving, non-swimmer to an active swimmer. The JCC’s swim instructor understands his specific needs and is able to give directions in a manner that he is able to understand.

His mother said, “His instructor quickly learned what motivates him to strive to perform on his own and continues to challenge Joshua from week to week.”

The JCC offers special needs programs for children, teens and adults in the South Area, Metrowest, Newton and throughout Greater Boston.

For more information on special needs services at the JCC, please contact

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