Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

June 25, 2024

Milestones, Inc. provides therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with challenges.

Places & Spaces for Special Needs Kids

All kids deserve experiences that benefit their well-being.

A special needs child is defined as a child who requires special education because these children may have learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities or emotional difficulties. Those of us who have special needs children know that we need to find educational and entertainment options that cater to them. Fortunately for Greater Cincinnati residents, our region is rich in these organizations. Here are some noteworthy ones.

ANIMALS

CINCINNATI ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN
3400 Vine St., Cincinnati
cincinnatizoo.org/plan-yourvisit/zoo-access-for-all
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has an Access for All program to accommodate its guests with special needs. The zoo provides resources for individuals with developmental disabilities including calming rooms, sensory bags, Access passes and sensory-friendly restrooms. The Calming Rooms are private spaces in the zoo that include several items and tools, such as rocking chairs, dimming lights, bubble walls and weighted lap pads. Sensory Bags provide on-the-go tools for guests, such as chewy tubes, noise-reducing headphones, sunglasses, scratch and sniff stickers, bendy fidget toys and pinwheels. Access Passes are available for guests who may have difficulty waiting in standard lines for their attractions. Sensory-friendly restrooms are one-person restrooms that have manual flush toilets and manual paper towel dispensers. The zoo also has free resources like a sensory map and social stories, all of which are available on-site or online.

CINCINNATI THERAPEUTIC RIDING AND HORSEMANSHIP
1342 U.S. Highway 50, Milford
513-831-7050; ctrhohio.org
Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship offers programs to teach horseback riding to people with disabilities and unique challenges.

MILESTONES, INC.
12372 Riggs Road, Independence
859-694-7669; milestonesinc.org
Milestones, Inc. offers therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with challenges.

NEWPORT AQUARIUM
1 Aquarium Way, Newport
800-406-3474; newportaquarium.com
Occasional Family Inclusive Sensory Hours (F.I.S.H) events where, sound, lighting or other modifications are made to accommodate guests with special needs.

WINTON WOODS RIDING CENTER
Parky’s Farm 10073 Daly Road, Cincinnati
greatparks.org/parks/wintonwoods/winton-woods-ridingcenter
In addition to mainstream lessons for beginners through advanced riders, they also offer programming for other-abled riders.

ARTS & THEATER

AMC WEST CHESTER
9415 Civic Center Boulevard, West Chester

AMC NEWPORT ON THE LEVEE
One Levee Way, Suite 4100, Newport

AMC DINE-IN ANDERSON TOWNE CENTER
7490 Beechmont Ave., Anderson Twp.

AMC CLASSIC HAMILTON
1453 Main St., Hamilton
amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films
AMC Theaters in Cincinnati offers select sensory-friendly screenings.

CINCINNATI ART MUSEUM
953 Eden Park, Cincinnati
513-721-2787; cincinnatiartmuseum.org/events-programs/accessibility
Cincinnati Art Museum offers offer monthly sensory mornings, social narratives online and sensory bags.

CINCINNATI BALLET
1801 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati
513-621-5219; cballet.org
The Cincinnati Ballet always offers a sensory-friendly performance.

CINCINNATI MUSEUM CENTER
1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati; 513-287-7000
cincymuseum.org/accessibility
Cincinnati Museum Center offers accessible amenities, quiet zones and fidgets/ear muffs available on request.

THE CHILDREN’S THEATRE OF CINCINNATI
4015 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati
513-569-8080; thechildrenstheatre.com
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has sensory-friendly and ASL performances of their shows.

ATHLETICS

ALL ABILITIES SPORTS NKY
allabilitiesnky.com
A new non-profit that offers families “try it days” so children have an opportunity to try new sports. Contact Samantha@allabilitiesnky. com or Jon@allabilitiesnky.com for more information.

SNAPDRAGONS
snapdragonscincy.org
Special needs athletes can participate in a basketball league, cheer squad, softball league or soccer.

WE ROCK THE SPECTRUM GYM
4060 Galbraith Road, Unit #17, Cincinnati
513-429-5905; werockthespectrumcincinnati.com
Caters to children with fine motor and sensory-related disabilities.

CAMPS

CAMP ABILITY – CINCINNATI CENTER FOR AUTISM
100 Office Park Drive, Fairfield
513-874-6789; cincinnaticenterforautism.org
Cincinnati Center for Autism hosts Camp Ability, half and full-day camps for people with special needs.

STEPPING STONES
5650 Given Road, Cincinnati
513-831-4660; steppingstonesohio.org
An organization that offers programs, including summer day camp and its “Step-Up Autism Alternative Education,” for individuals with disabilities.

ENTERTAINMENT

CHUCK E. CHEESE
• 4394 Eastgate Square Drive, #900, Cincinnati
• 1429 East Kemper Road, Sharonville
• 7635 Mall Road, Florence
chuckecheese.com/sensorysensitive-sundays
Participating locations open two hours early on the first Sunday of the month to offer a sensory-friendly experience.

KINGS ISLAND
6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason
800-288-0808; visitkingsisland.com/accessibility
Offers various programs to accommodate disabilities.

PEDIATRIC THERAPY ABC PEDIATRIC THERAPY
(numerous locations)
abcpediatrictherapy.com
A pediatric practice that specializes in ADHD, autism, Down Syndrome, Sensory Integration Dysfunction and more.

BIG BLUE CANOPY
11230 Cornell Park Drive, Blue Ash
513-880-6800; bigbluecanopy.com
A multidisciplinary pediatric therapy practice offering physical, occupational and speech therapy services in a play-based setting.

KTL THERAPY
18 North Fort Thomas Ave., #302 Fort Thomas, KY
859-441-0139; ktltherapy.com
Offers occupational, physical and speech therapy.

SELECT PARKS

1000 HANDS PLAYGROUND
5915 Ridge Ave., Cincinnati
pleasantridge.org/parks-and-rec

BEECH ACRES PARK
6910 Salem Road, Cincinnati
513-474-0003

CRESCENT PARK
340 Crescent Ave., Wyoming
wyomingohio.gov/208/ParksPlaygroundsFields

EVERY CHILD’S PLAYGROUND
801 East Pete Rose Way Cincinnati
cincinnati-oh.gov
Caters to physically disabled children and children with cognitive disabilities.

MAKINO PLAYGROUND
6100 Kopfler Court, Mason
imaginemason.org
The Common Ground Playground was designed with local parents of children with disabilities.

MT. AIRY FOREST
5083 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati
cincinnati-oh.gov
The park features a wheelchairaccessible public treehouse.

About the Author

Charles Infosino

Charles Infosino is a freelance writer from Fort Thomas and the author of "The Unofficial Guidebook to Paramount’s Kings Island"; "Pina Panda: Adventures in Pandacornlandia"; and "Ultra Bunny: To the Rescue".