KIDS WITH DISABILITIES SHOULDN’T HAVE TO FIT INTO SOCIETY’S MOLD
At the upcoming INCLUDEnyc Fair on Saturday, January 26, families can meet face-to-face with over 80 summer camps, afterschool, weekend, arts, sports, social, and recreational programs, including Extreme Kids and Crew, who offers weekend programs and summer camp to kids with disabilities.
Located in Red Hook and Ridgewood, Extreme Kids has weekend, weekly and monthly programs, including music classes, parent support groups and social clubs for girls and teens. During Open Play on Saturdays and Sundays in Red Hook and Saturdays in Ridgewood, kids can play in a sensory gym on play equipment that is normally reserved for therapy.
Many of these programs embrace the participation of families, encourage socializing, and help build community. “Extreme Kids is an open, welcoming place. We believe society can learn a lot from the children and families coming into our space. Kids with disabilities shouldn’t have to fit into society’s mold. Instead, classrooms and the broader community should be more open to neurodiversity,” says Executive Director Caitlin Cassaro.
Extreme Kids’ summer camp, based out of the Red Hook location, typically is for a small group with a 1:3 staff ratio for six weeks. Children enjoy field trips and participate in various activities, including art, music, dance and movement. “We want our summer camp to be accessible to those who need it, so we use a sliding scale and is completely free to eligible families,” Caitlin explained. This August, they will also present a two-week summer camp based out of the Ridgewood location designed for children with higher-needs.
Extreme Kids will be attending the upcoming INCLUDEnyc Fair. “The Fair has been valuable for us. We can reach new children and families and have the opportunity to connect with other partners,” Caitlin said.
- Carly Wolff