Activities for Kids with Differences and Disabilities in the Collin County Area

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Disclaimer :: The information and opinions presented in this article do not represent professional medical advice. Please talk to your child’s doctor or hospital representative before encouraging physical activity of any kind. Collin County Moms acknowledges the differences in preferences between identity-first versus person-first language in the autism community. This resource is solely intended as an informational resource, not an endorsement or opinion of language-use.

If you have a child with differences and disabilities, you can testify to the struggle of finding ways for him or her to connect and play with peers of varying abilities.

For this reason, Collin County Moms polled mamas throughout the area for trusted venues that provide support and creative play solutions for your child’s needs.

Now, we’re proud to bring you the comprehensive guide to “Activities for Kids with Differences and Disabilities in the Collin County Area.” You are sure to find something to entertain or educate your kids of all ages — whether at an inclusive playground filled with structures for all abilities, or at a sensory-friendly movie screening exclusive to families walking your journey.

While you’re here, check out articles written by and for Collin County moms:

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Click on a category below for a drop-down menu of options.

Adapted Aquatics (McKinney) — The indoor, senior pool offers swim lessons to kids of all ages and abilities.

Alamo Drafthouse — On Tuesdays before 2:00 p.m., the “Alamo for All” program offers sensory-friendly movie screenings for all ages (including infants). Some weekend screenings are adapted, too.

AMC — Enjoy sensory-friendly films with the lights turned up and the sound turned low on the second and fourth Saturdays (family-friendly) and Wednesday evenings (mature audiences only).

Beyond Karate — This inclusive martial arts studio offers karate classes at several locations across the metroplex for students with developmental disabilities.

Chuck E. Cheese — On Sensory Sensitive Sundays, participating locations open two hours early (9:00 a.m.) on the first Sunday of each month for children with disabilities and their families.

Crayola Experience (Plano) — On the third Sunday of each month, Crayola turns off the music, dims the lights, and opens the quiet room for their guests with sensory needs.

iFly — Highly-trained instructors make the dream of flight a reality for children and adults with physical and cognitive challenges on All Abilities Nights.

North Texas Performing Arts (Plano) — NTPA Starcatchers is a therapeutic theater program for children and adults with developmental, cognitive, emotional, and physical disabilities.

Studio Movie Grill — Frequent Saturday-morning screenings with lights up and sound low will delight your child and any siblings for free! Moving around, talking, and even dancing are welcome.

TinyTotoz (Allen) — This sensory play experience was designed to stimulate the brain, create neutral pathways, improve sensory processing systems, and improve social skills such as communication and cooperation.

We Rock the Spectrum (Plano) — This indoor playground for everyone offers 12 pieces of sensory equipment such as swings, crash mats, and a zipline to foster abstract thinking, develop gross motor skills, and more. Calming room also available.

For more options for extracurricular fun, check out the thorough resource, “Extracurricular Activities for Kids in Collin County.”

Allen Parks & Recreation — Special Needs & Adapted Programs (SNAP) host dances, holiday celebrations, and open sports in the park. Look for “SNAP” labeled classes and events on the schedule.

ASI Gymnastics — In the Gymmie Kids program, kids with physical, developmental, and cognitive needs build strength and gross motor skills with the goal of integrating into a recreational class.

Challenge Air (Dallas) — Give your child the free and unforgettable chance to soar, Join your child, ages seven to 21, as he or she copilots a small plane, and possibly even helps with the controls!

Halos Sports League (McKinney) – T-ball leagues and summer swimming events give children with mental and physical disabilities a chance to participate in a variety of fun activities.

ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship (McKinney) — Come meet the horses at this PATH Premier Accredited Center that provides weekly therapy programs to riders ages five and up.

McKinney Soccer Association — TOPSoccer league welcomes ages three and up to practice, play, and participate in a regular season with and against athletes of similar capabilities. Assistants/buddies are available.

Miracle League — Wheelchairs welcome on this barrier-free, rubberized turf field! Miracle league makes it possible for children and young adults to play baseball regardless of their abilities.

Plano Adapted Recreation — Year-round programming for individuals with special needs from 12 months to over 60 years old includes fitness, arts and crafts, and monthly dances.

Special Olympics Texas —  Exercise, make friends, build confidence, and travel in this year-round program that holds more than 300 local, regional, and state competitions.

Urban Air Adventure Park — Check out your local park’s weekly activities to catch the next sensory-friendly jump designed for children with a diagnosis on the spectrum. Enjoy the park without loud music and flashing lights.

Al Ruschhaupt Park (McKinney) – This is a wheelchair-accessible playground located inside the Al Ruschhaupt outdoor soccer complex.

Bonnie Wenk Park (McKinney) – This all-abilities playground was designed for children of all ages, abilities, and needs.

Celebration Park (Allen) – This large, fully-accessible splash pad and playground combo has something for each member of the family.

Frontier Park (Prosper) – Inside this North-Collin park lies Windmill Playground, featuring a small spray pad, short slides, and the perfect oasis for little ones of all abilities.

Hope Park (Frisco) – A playground for all abilities, with rubberized footing, a sensory area, and adaptive equipment such as swings, a merry-go-round, and rubberized, barrier-free turf.

Jack Carter Park (Plano) – This inclusive playground allows children of all abilities, ages two through 12, to play together and engage in a range of movement for all the senses including auditory play. It also features picnic tables, restrooms, and sand volleyball.

Liberty Playground (Plano) – Located in Windhaven Meadows Park, this universally-designed playground features more than 20,000 square feet of accessible play equipment, a sensory garden, and a spray ground (open April – October).

Mary Heads Carter Park (Carrollton) – This shaded playground is every kid’s dream, and is fully equipped with grills, a pavilion, restrooms, and a trail.

Scottish Rite Playground (Frisco) – The inclusive playground and park featuring an accessible seesaw allows ease of access and fun for children at all levels of physical ability.

Spirit Park (Allen) – Known by kids as the “treehouse park,” this spot near Watters Creek will take folks of all abilities to new heights. Enjoy adapted swings, a hike and bike trail, and even a cricket field.

2×2 Special Needs Ministry (McKinney) — St. Peter’s Episcopal Church offers respite care on the second Saturday of each month from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., partnering each participant (and his or her sibling) with a buddy for crafts, games, and lunch.

Access-Life Expo in North Texas (Grapevine) — This free annual meet-up for families living with disabilities provides outdoor fun, food, and fellowship.

Achieving Milestones (Celina) — This pediatric therapy office is more like an indoor playground!

Autism Speaks — This indispensable guide lets you search everything from autism-friendly services to employment opportunities in your area.

Behavior Frontiers Center for Autism Treatment (Plano) — ABA services expand your child’s skills by focusing on their strengths, creating a positive environment in which your child can grow and thrive.

Best Buddies — Offering one-to-one friendship, integrated employment, and leadership development programs for individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities in Texas.

Caroline’s Cart — Facing the impossible task of having to maneuver a wheelchair and a traditional shopping cart at the same time? Search for a retailer with Caroline’s Carts near you!

HEROES DFW (Richardson) — H.E.R.O.E.S. stands for “Helping Everyone Reach Outstanding Educational Success” and provides lifelong learning through community experiences.

HopeKids — The local North Texas chapter provides a support community and a wide range of free weekly events for families of kids with life-threatening medical conditions.

Hugs Cafe (McKinney) — Next time you’re out for lunch, order from this non-profit that provides training and competitively-paid employment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It also offers greenhouse education, cooking classes, and a hospitality academy.

Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas — For more than 60 years, JFS has helped families living with disabilities reach their highest potential by providing resources such as speech-language pathologists, intervention specialists, play therapists, and more.

Joni & Friends — This Christian organization offers family and individual retreats for people with disabilities.

My Possibilites (Plano) — This organization is the first full-day, year-long, continuing education and job placement program in North Texas.

Navigate Life Texas — The NLT website (a project supported by Texas Health and Human Services) offers support from diagnosis through adulthood.

No Labels Learning Center (McKinney) — No Labels LLC offers tutoring services, homeschooling, and an adult day camp.

P.E.A.R.S. (McKinney) — “Psychological, educational, and related services” such as autism testing and ADHD assessments are geared towards children between the ages of two and 18.

Respite Nights for Parents — Tarrant Cares compiled a list of various churches and services that offer respite for parents raising children with disabilities and sometimes their typically-developing siblings.

Sheer Smiles Pediatric Dentistry (Frisco) — Special needs dental services for infants, toddlers, teens, and children.

Super Duper Cookie Company (Dallas) — Super Duper offers training and support for individuals impacted by disabilities.

StandUpLD — This non-profit is a support network for parents and educators seeking to inspire children with learning differences.

United Through Hope (Frisco) — UTH offers programming for all ages, including counseling and transitional resources for becoming fully independent.

Victory Flows — Victory Flows works to encourage active involvement and a sense of belonging for all individuals living with differences.

Know of an activity or resource that isn’t included in this guide? Contact [email protected] and we’ll add it.

Lauren Escobedo
Lauren serves as Beal Media Council member and resource editor. A transplant from New York, Lauren now lives on the border of Collin and Dallas counties with her husband and their two sons. On any given day, you will find Lauren working as a full-time mom, attending classes, storytimes, and yoga with her kids. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys cooking on a budget, crafting with her Cricut, and drinking mocktails with friends. Lauren hopes to support, encourage, and uplift other moms, as her closest friends have done for her.


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