Special Olympics Southern California
Special Olympics Southern California is a nonprofit organization that empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. They provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Visit their website here.
Ability First provides work study, programs, day activities, camps, etc. They also have group homes and work centers to help foster independence.
Down Syndrome Association of Orange County
DSAOC includes a diverse portfolio of help for those with Down Syndrome and their parents/caregivers, including pre-birth counseling and advice for parents expecting a child with DS. They give seminars and have support groups as well as annual fundraisers and activities for children with DS.
Hoops and Stars Inc. strives to enrich the lives of the developmentally disabled by providing a program called HoopStars Basketball. The program instills a sense of accomplishment, teamwork and competition as well as provides physical activity and enhances self esteem.
Leaps & Bounds
Leaps & Bounds provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy services for children of all ages in the Inland Empire and Orange County. Therapy services include evaluation, consultation, treatment, and home and school program activities that promote typical development and functional mobility.
No Limits Creative Arts
The McCoy Rigby Conservatory of the Arts has a program called No Limits Creative Arts, which provides creative classes for children with special needs. They currently offer musical theater and dance classes.
Regional Center of Orange County
The Regional Center of Orange County is a non-profit organization contracted by the State of California to coordinate lifelong services and support for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Their services include therapy, respite care, child care, adult day programs, transportation, housing, employment and more.
Therapeutic horseback riding, developed to the specific special needs of the small group of children. “The primary goals of these classes are increased body awareness, sequencing & judgment skills, attention span, cause and effect, motor coordination, spatial awareness, and early learning skills.”
State of California, Department of Developmental Services
The State of California Department of Developmental Services provides service options for those with special needs and their caregivers. Contacting the Department of Developmental Services will help set you in the right direction in terms of where to go for childcare, education, work services, independent living, group homes, support services, transportation and more.
A (free) summer camp for children with autism, providing a unique form of therapy through teaching the children to surf.
United Cerebral Palsy
UCP helps families with children of all varieties of special needs, not only cerebral palsy. They provide a large number of services including therapies, early intervention, family support, recreation, childcare and respite services.
USC Best Buddies Program
Best Buddies gives a one-on-one support system for people with disabilities. The program helps encourage those with limited social skills to expand their horizons. This service is provided in high schools, colleges and job settings.