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Children with Special Needs

Most children with disabilities live at home with their parents or other close relatives. These programs are designed for this population, supporting quality of life and helping families prepare for the future of their loved one with disabilities.

Kids' Connection Corner

The JF&CS Kids’ Connection Corner (KCC) is a free program that provides children with autism ages 10-13 with the opportunity to participate in creative activities while making friends. This three-hour program runs for 20 Sundays throughout the year from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC in Newton. The goal of KCC is to combine the important aspects of family support, recreation, social learning, and interactions for children as well as their caregivers.


Sibshops is a nationally acclaimed program of fun workshops for kids ages 8-14 who have siblings with special needs. Each Sibshop gives participants opportunity to participate in recreational activities that encourage sharing, laughter, and fun! Kids will have the chance to meet and connect with other kids, who also have siblings with special needs. 

Our monthly meetings include fun activities like laser tag, snow tubing, pottery painting, and other exciting field trips. At Sibshops, siblings will:

  • Meet other siblings of children with special needs and have a great time together
  • Obtain peer support and education in a fun and recreational environment
  • Share experiences in a supportive and non-judgmental environment, with other siblings who understand
Thanks to a generous donation from the HALO foundation, there is no cost for JF&CS Sibshops. Registration is open to anyone. Check out our flyer

HALO Swim & Sing

Partially funded by the HALO Foundation, HALO Swim & Sing offers 1:1 individualized support during a three-hour respite program consisting of music therapy and recreational swim. The program is for children and young adults with moderate to severe neurological and physical disabilities and provides three hours of respite for their parents and caregivers.

Special Education Advocacy

Special Education Advocacy specializes in helping families of children with autism. We provide education, research, successful referrals, and service coordination through various transition points, including first diagnosis, entering the school system, and during development of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Disability Lifespan Solutions

Throughout various transitions in a person’s life, there may be a need for guidance with signing up for benefits, navigating medical issues, making short and long term plans, and more. Disability Lifespan Solutions helps families promote the lifelong well-being of people with a variety of disabilities.

Family Circle Newsletter

Funded by the HALO Foundation, the Family Circle Newsletter provides a wealth of up‐to‐date information about services, benefits, support groups, workshops, and other resources that help families meet the challenges of raising a child with disabilities.

To sign up for the Family Circle Newsletter, call 781-647-JFCS (5327) or email your questions via our contact us page.

For more information, contact Manager of Programming for Children with Special Needs, Valerie Maio, at or 781-409-1919. 

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Waltham, MA 02451

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