Inclusive Recreation Programs

The SCDSB offers a variety of inclusive social and recreational programs for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The programs focus on using recreation, music and play to support social skills development. Programs are typically run in fall, winter and spring sessions.

Parents/guardians are an important part of the programs and will receive resources and support to help the children develop and practice new skills at home and at school. 

Information regarding each program is outlined below. When available, information and applications for upcoming sessions is posted on this page as well.

Upcoming session details


Coding and Robotics Club

Aug. 15 to 19
Session One - 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Session Two - 12 to 1:30 p.m.

Aug.22 to 26
Session Three - 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Session Four - 12 to 1:30 p.m.

Apply here for the Coding and Robotics Club.

Play Ball Kidz Recreation Program

July 18 to 29
Session One - 1 to 1:45 p.m.
Session Two - 2 to 2:45 p.m.


Apply here for the Play Ball Kidz program.



Applications for the above sessions must be submitted by June 30 at 4 p.m.

Limited spaces are available. Interested parents/guardians should complete the initial application form and submit it to the SCDSB. This does not guarantee enrolment into the program. You may be contacted for an initial telephone consultation to assess if the program is appropriate for your child, and/or to attend a virtual screening session.

Children's Friendship Training
Children’s Friendship Training is a nine-week, evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated children who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. During each group session children are taught crucial social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in session during role-play and play activities.

Children’s Friendship Training is an evidence-based, group-format, parent/guardian-assisted social skills intervention for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It has been used and studied for over 20 years with more than 1,000 families.

Parents/guardians will be taught how to assist their children in making and keeping friends by providing feedback through coaching during weekly virtual information sessions and homework assignments designed to build on skills practiced in the sessions.

Topics of instruction
  • How to ‘play detective’ to find common interests
  • How to join a group of kids at play
  • How to handle rejection, teasing and bullying
  • How to be a good host on a play date
  • How to be a good winner
  • How to be a good sport
  • How to show respect to adults
  • How to make phone calls to friends
Participation requirements
  • Child must have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
  • Have difficulties establishing and/or maintaining friendships
  • Child demonstrates emerging social skills and an interest in building relationships with same-aged peers
  • Child must be interested in attending the program 

Children’s Friendship Training is fully subsidized by the SCDSB and is facilitated by Applied Behaviour Analysis Support Workers from the SCDSB.

Coding and Robotics Program
The Coding and Robotics Club is a five-day program focusing on providing students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) an opportunity to engage in social interactions and build friendships through a shared interest in computers, coding and robotics through a highly scaffolded progression of robotic themed activities.

A significant portion of each session is devoted to collaborative robotic and coding themed social games, designed to encourage joint engagement, conversation, turn-taking and cooperation, while building behaviour regulation skills, patience and perseverance.

Parents/guardians will receive information and strategies to help develop and practice new skills at home and at school. 

Topics of instruction
  • Introduction to coding skills (sequences, loops and events)
  • Computation problem-solving strategies
  • Looking for patterns
  • Finding and fixing errors
  • Robotic themed assistive technology literacy and math activities
  • Online and robot graphical activities
  • Action songs and crafts
  • Unplugged computational thinking
  • Coding games
Participation requirements
  • Child must have a diagnosis of ASD
  • Child is able to attend weekly virtual sessions for a five-day period
  • Demonstrates emerging social skills and an interest in building relationships with same-aged peers or peers with common interests

The program will be fully subsidized by the SCDSB and facilitated by LEARNstyle Coding and Robotics Trainers and SCDSB staff.

Escape Room Social Skills Program
The Escape Room Social Skills program is a nine-week, virtual escape room program designed to improve the conversational skills and problem solving skills of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by focusing on teamwork.

The virtual escape room program includes take-away resources for the student and their parent/guardian to continue their learning and sustain the impact of the goals and outcomes. Each participant will receive a progress note at the end of the workshop, completed by a recreation therapist, to prove the individual person-centred growth.

Workshop goals
  • Participants work through a series of puzzles, codes, games and tasks to solve their way through the virtual escape room
  • Problem solving
  • Communicating
  • Teamwork
Participation requirements
  • Child must have a diagnosis of ASD
  • Child is able to attend weekly virtual sessions for a nine-week period
  • Demonstrates emerging social skills  and an interest in building relationships with same-aged peers

The program will be fully subsidized by the SCDSB and facilitated by Recreational Respite.

Hanen More Than Words Program
The Hanen More Than Words Program is a 13-week program focusing on providing parents/guardians of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or communication difficulties the tools, strategies and support they need to develop their child’s social communication, play and imitation skills. 

The More Than Words parent/guardian program includes:

  • Eight training sessions in a small, personalized group (12 families max)
  • Hanen-certified SCDSB speech-language pathologist(s) leading the program
  • A pre-program consultation for you and your child with your speech-language pathologist
  • Three individual sessions for you and your child with your speech-language pathologist in which you will receive feedback on your interactions with your child to discuss what is helping and what can be modified

What you will learn in the More Than Words Program:

  • What motivates your child to communicate
  • How to make interactions with your child last longer
  • Tips for using visuals to help your child’s understanding
  • Strategies for how to talk to your child
  • Strategies for developing your child’s play skills
  • Ways to help your child make friends
  • How to create realistic goals for your child
Participation requirements
  • Child must have a diagnosis of ASD or communication difficulties
  • Parent/guardian is able to attend weekly virtual sessions for a 13-week period
  • Child must be available for the individual pre-consultation session, as well as three individual sessions within the 13-week period

The program will be fully subsidized by the SCDSB and facilitated by SCDSB speech-language pathologists. 

Music Social Skills Program
The Virtual Music Social Skills program is a nine-week, multi-component music platform designed to improve the emotional understanding and social skills of children, and is suggested for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Music captivates children with its hands-on learning environment and variety of rhythm and songs. Each session provides movement, composition, singing, playing instruments, and is designed to help children learn new social and emotional skills in a fun environment.

Parents/guardians will receive information and strategies to help young ‘musicians’ develop and practice new skills at home and at school during the parent/guardian information session.

Topics of instruction
  • Impulse control, taking turns and waiting
  • Following instructions
  • Talking and playing with others
  • Joining in conversations and activities with others
  • Labelling emotions
  • Developing an understanding of how situations make them feel
  • Identifying appropriate strategies to manage unpleasant emotions
  • Solving social problems
Participation requirements
  • Child must have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
  • Child is able to attend weekly virtual sessions for a nine-week period
  • Caregiver must be able to attend one virtual parent/guardian session (date to be confirmed)
  • Demonstrates emerging social skills and an interest in building relationships with same-aged peers or peers with common interests

The program will be fully subsidized by the SCDSB and facilitated by Heidi Flynn, RP, MTA, Registered Psychotherapist and Certified Music Therapist, Music Therapy Services of Simcoe County Music Therapists and SCDSB staff.

Play Ball Kidz Recreation Program
The Play Ball Kidz program is a 10-day multi-component recreation intervention designed to improve the gross motor skills and social skills of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Play Ball Kidz captivates children with its hands-on learning environment and opportunities to practice and learn new skills each week. Each session provides scaffolding, land marking and cooperative games designed to help children learn new gross motor and social skills in a fun environment.

Parents/guardians are an integral part of the group program and receive support to help young athletes develop and practice new skills at home and at school.

Topics of instruction
  • Talking and playing with others
  • Joining in conversations and activities with others
  • How to cope with making mistakes, changes in routine and feelings of uncertainty
  • How to handle new situations and learning to ask for help
  • Solving social problems
  • How to recognize simple and complex emotions in themselves and others
  • How to express feelings in appropriate ways
  • How to cope with feelings of anger and anxiety
Participation requirements
  • Child must have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
  • Child is able to attend weekly virtual sessions for a nine-week period
  • Demonstrates emerging social skills  and an interest in building relationships with same-aged peers

The program will be fully subsidized by the SCDSB and facilitated by Shawn Delaire, Level 1 Coach and SCDSB staff.