Autism Respite Program | Denver YMCA

Autism Respite Program

Safe Spaces for Kids. Special Support for Families.

The YMCA Autism Respite Program provides one-on-one interaction and recreation for children with autism, while giving families the time and support they need to thrive. Sessions are led by YMCA staff who have completed Autism 101 training designed by Autism Society of Colorado and have experience and interest in working with children with special needs. The program is not limited to autism exclusively, and children experiencing other cognitive or developmental disabilities are welcome.

They lead the kids individually, in three-hour sessions, doing activities especially designed to promote comfort and interaction, including:

  • Music
  • Gross motor play, like tumbling
  • Puzzles and sensory toys
  • Swimming and aquatics, which have been shown to be beneficial for children with autism based on the static pressure of the water

The program has been touted as a game-changer for families. It helps children achieve milestones in their treatment and improve their communication skills. At the same time, it provides a source of support and partnership for families.

For more information, please contact Sarah Macklberg at 303 797 9622. Financial aid may be available from the YMCA. Easter Seals vouchers and funding from Developmental Pathways and Autism Society of Colorado are also accepted.

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Autism Respite Recreation Program

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Sessions at the Littleton YMCA are held in a designated outdoor area, the Child Watch facility, dance studio, and Family Pool. Upcoming sessions will also be held in a new sensory-friendly room designed for the Autism Respite Program.

Sessions run on the following Sundays and days when school is out

  • January 15
  • January 28
  • February 11
  • February 12
  • February 13
  • February 19
  • March 4
  • March 26
  • March 27

Cost is $50 for the entire program for the community. To qualify, children must be ages 4 to 10 and must have cognitive or developmental delay similar to autism.