Respite Recreational Program | Denver YMCA

Respite Recreational Program

Safe Spaces for Kids. Special Support for Families.

The Respite Recreational Program is a program for children with sensory, developmental and social disabilities.

The program gives kids an opportunity to move and exercise, while increasing their comfort and familiarity with themselves, with other people, and in a safe, Recreational environment that is conducive to their special needs. At the same time, as the kids play, the program gives families the time and support they need to thrive. 

How the program works

For each three-hour session, children are each paired with a qualified staff instructor. They start off in the pool, swimming for 45 minutes to 75 minues, depending on the interest of each child.

From there they have a snack and take advantage of the Childwatch facility, dance studio, gymnasium, outside fields, or playground. Kids can play with balls and large foam toys, improving their gross motor skills, and run and move, getting essential exercise. The program also encourages socialization through group play and instructor interaction. And because children are working one-on-one with an instructor, their time at the Y can be flexible, based on each child's needs and desires that day.

The program is offered throughout the year through grant monies from the Colorado Respite Coalition and other organizations.

Parents say the sessions are amazing:

"Our son is really having so much fun at the respite program. His two favorite things are gyms and swimming!"

"Thank you for offering this program. It is so great for our whole family."

More highlights

  • Qualified instructors. All YMCA Recreational Respite Program instructors have completed Autism 101 training through the Autism Society of Colorado and have experience and interest in working with children with special needs. Many of the staff are certified lifeguards and swim instructors, as well. 
  • One-on-one interaction. The child/instructor ratio is 1 to 1.
  •  Y values. As part of the YMCA, the program promotes youth development and a strong sense of community in an environment built on respect, responsibility, caring, and honesty.


Click below to learn more about Recreational Respite Program offered at:

Schlessman Family YMCA

In partnership with: