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Recreational Opportunities & Fun for Kids with Autism

Ability Matters

Serves: Students ages 3-21, individuals, and families. 
Agency providing services for individuals with autism and other neurological disabilities. Services include intervention training and support, customized and individualized learning options through the Ohio Autism Scholarship Program, and independent supportive living. The Beyond Ability Matters program provides housing, educational experiences like preparing for a job interview, and community outings. Services are offered by trained and experienced care providers.
425 Metro Place North, Dublin, Ohio 43017
(614) 956-1229
abilitymattersohio.com
Beyond Ability Matters: beyondabilitymatters.com

Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs

Offers several summer programs for kids and adults with any disability. The children’s overnight camp is geared towards children with disabilities aged 6-17. Several day camps are offered for campers ages 6-21. Adults can participate in Adult Summer Camp and weekend retreats throughout the year. They also offer respite care for days off school.
4460 Rex Lake Drive, Akron, Ohio 44319
(330) 644-4512
gotcamp.org/akron-rotary-camp

Aspirations Ohio

Serves: Adolescents and adults 13-30 years with autism spectrum disorder and their families
A group-based social skills and support program for teens and young adults with autism. The facilitated group engages in discussion and activities focused on building social and vocational skills. They provide additional support groups including Men’s and Women’s Aspirations, financial empowerment, DBT therapy skills, EmployAbility, and self-advocacy. Find program schedules and registration details online.
The Ohio State University Nisonger Center
1581 Dodd Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 366-3276
nisonger.osu.edu/adolescent/adolescent-clinics-services/aspirations-ohio-2

Autism Society of Ohio (ASO) Central Ohio Chapter

Serves: teens, adults, families, and individuals.
Provides advocacy, education, information and referrals, and support groups in central Ohio for those in the autism community. The Central Ohio chapter hosts support groups for teens, adults, caregivers, Spanish-speaking community members, and regular community events. Find details online.

  • Autism Society of Central Ohio: PO Box 272, Worthington, Ohio 43085
    (614) 284-6323
    autismcentralohio.org
  • Autism Society of Ohio: PO Box 545, Worthington, Ohio 43085
    (614) 495-7551
    autismohio.org

Bridgeway Academy and Therapy Center

Serves: Children birth to age 21, parents, and families.
Nonprofit education center serving children with autism and developmental disabilities. Bridgeway Academy utilizes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to provide private school-day education from preschool through high school, life skills training, vocational training, and transition to adulthood support. Bridgeway Therapy Center serves Bridgeway Academy students and outpatient clients for music therapy, speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, mental health, and family partnership services. Clinical staff work with families and professionals to assess, diagnose and develop individualized treatment plans in client-centered therapy sessions. They are a provider of Ohio’s Autism Scholarship Program, Jon Peterson Scholarship, Title XX (20), Medicaid, Level One, I. O. and Self Waiver and some insurances.
1350 Alum Creek Drive, Columbus, OH 43209
(614) 262-7520
bridgewayohio.org

Camp Nuhop

Hosts a variety of programs for individuals ages 6-29, with a focus on those living with ASD, ADHD, learning disabilities, mood disorders, and other neurodiversities. Programs include summer camps, weekend respite programs for ages 8-18, Life Skills camp for ages 18-29 to grow independent living skills, and outdoor experiential learning courses.
1077 Township Road 2916, Perrysville, Ohio 44864
(419) 938-7151
nuhop.org/camp-nuhop

Discovery Riders

Serves: Children 4 and up with special needs. Find specific physical requirements on their website. 
Therapeutic riding center providing low-cost summer camps and equine therapeutic riding to children and individuals with a disability. Horses provide a special format for individuals to connect and socialize with the animal and each other.
(937) 935-6545
1797 State Route 47, East Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311
discoveryriders.org

Easterseals Central & Southeast Ohio

Serves: children and adults with developmental disabilities
Provides comprehensive health services for children and adults living with disabilities. Services include early childhood education, adult day services, in-home care, referral services, and outpatient therapies. They also offer afterschool programs and summer day camps for children.

  • Central and Southeast Ohio: 3830 Trueman Court, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
    (614) 228-5523
  • Cuyahoga Falls: 1212 Portage Trail Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223
    (234) 417-0250
  • Chillicothe: 1855 Western Avenue, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
    (740)773-1273
  • Lawrence County: 97 Private Road Eighty South Point, Ohio 45680
    (740) 894-7560
  • Medina: 5041 Victor Drive, Medina, Ohio 44256
    (330) 722-8558
  • Portsmouth: 3858 US Highway 23, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662
    (740) 716-7295

easterseals.com/centralohio

Family Resource Network of Ohio (FRNO)

Provides resources, tools, and trainings to help individuals and families of individuals with developmental disabilities. Their website has database of programs and organizations across Ohio for helpful products, therapy, schools, legal help, clinical trials, and more. They use Charting the LifeCourse principals to help individuals and families of all abilities and ages develop a vision for a good life, and regular LifeCourse trainings are available for families and professionals.
The Ohio State University Nisonger Center
1581 Dodd Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Family Resource Coordinator: (614) 293-2134
Family Support Coordinator: (513) 636-4723
frnohio.org

Friendship Circle Columbus

Teenage and young-adult volunteers are paired with children with special needs and their families, and together they participate in one-on-one and group activities. Parents and families get much needed respite as well as the opportunity to socialize with other families. Learn more and sign up on their website.
6220 East Dublin-Granville Road, New Albany, Ohio 43054
(614) 570-4014
friendscolumbus.com

Hattie Larlham Central Ohio Services

Serves: Children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Provides care and support services in Central and Northeast Ohio. They offer several levels of care including recreation programs, day support programs, intermediate care homes, supported living, and residential care.
769 Brooksedge Boulevard, Westerville, Ohio 43081
(614) 486-4361
hattielarlham.org

I Am Boundless

Serves: Children, teens, individuals, and families with ID/DD and/or behavioral health challenges.
Provides person-centered care to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges. They offer primary care, dental, psychiatry, applied behavior analysis (ABA) and outpatient behavior health services, care coordination, long-term and temporary residential support, in-home and out-of-home respite services, day programs, and afterschool programs. Family Support Services are provided by the State of Ohio for families who need help keeping their loved one at home. Services vary by location, find details and request an appointment on their website.

  • Worthington Campus and Administrative Office:
    445 East Dublin-Granville Road, Worthington, Ohio 43085
    (614) 844-3800
  • Newark:
    22 North First Street, Newark, Ohio 43055
    (740) 334-4056
  • West Carrollton:
    700 Liberty Lane, West Carrollton, Ohio 45449
    (937) 247-2400
    Center-Based ABA: (937) 672-1587
  • Mahoning Valley Campus of Care:
    1960 East County Line Road, Mineral Ridge, Ohio 44440
    (330) 596-1042
  • Medina:
    1065 Medina Road, Medina, Ohio 44256
    (330) 596-1042
  • Perrysburg:
    28555 Starbright Boulevard, Perrysburg, Ohio 43551
    (567) 312-4722

(800) 409-2729
iamboundless.org

Milestones Autism Resources

Serves: Individuals 14 years old and older with autism, families, and professionals
Provides trusted resources to help individuals with autism reach their unique potential. The website Resource Center provides tool kits, recommended reading, and a list of organizations that support youth and adults with autism. The Helpdesk will do the searching for you and is staffed by masters’ level social workers who can connect you to therapies, support groups, funding help, and more. The Self-Advocate Social Group is a community for people with disabilities over the age of 16 that meets monthly on Discord. The Milestone Autism Planning (MAP) tool allows you to explore life skill guidelines based on your child’s age or developmental stage. They also provide consultation and training services for professionals. Find program details and fill out their intake forms online.
4853 Galaxy Parkway, Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128
(216) 464-7600
milestones.org

Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD)

Serves: Children 16-30 months for diagnostic screening, Children ages 2-22, Parents, and Families. 
Provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care focusing on evidence-based treatment, education, research and advocacy for children with the diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Services include diagnostic assessment, behavioral intervention, outpatient psychotherapy, complex behavior program, and community support services. Find details about services and eligibility online. They also host the following programs:

  • Project SEARCH: 9-month workplace internship for Central Ohio students in their last year of high school who have Autism and/or Intellectual Disability with Complex Social and Communication Needs.
  • Triple P Stepping StonesIndividual or group classes for parents with children under 12 years old struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges of ASD.
  • Sibshops: Siblings of children with autism and other developmental delays (ages 6 to 12) participate in fun activities to explore feelings and better understand their sibling.
  • Adolescent Transition ProgramsIncludes Camp RISE summer program, CARE coping and relaxation group, iWork summer job skills program, and Social Skills Group.

187 West Schrock Road, Westerville, Ohio 43081
For an Autism Diagnostic Screening: (614) 355-8080
For all other Autism resources: (614) 355-7570
nationwidechildrens.org/specialties/center-for-autism-spectrum-disorders

Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC)

Community-based book club program for adolescents and adults with Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. A small group meets with trained facilitators at bookstores, cafés, and public libraries throughout Franklin County. Anyone can participate, whatever their reading or ability level. Members experience an inclusive community focused on reading to learn together and build friendships, rather than learning to read.
1581 Dodd Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 685-6718
Franklin County: nisonger.osu.edu/adolescent/adolescent-clinics-services/next-chapter-book-club
National Website: nextchapterbookclub.org

Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University (OSU)

Serves: Infants, school-aged children, teens, and adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. 
The Nisonger Center has a variety of programs for individuals with developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorders. Services include clinical support services, specialized dental programs, inclusive childcare and early childhood education, social programs for teens, TOPS post-secondary education and transitional skills program for adult students at OSU, psychiatric services, and more. Contact the center for program details and eligibility.
1581 Dodd Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Administration: (614) 685-3192 or (855) 983-9955
nisonger.osu.edu

Ohio Department of Medicaid Waiver Services

Waivers are programs that help Ohio Medicaid customers with special needs remain at home instead of being in a nursing home, hospital or facility. They provide financial assistance to families, and there is typically a waiting list. Services may include personal care, transportation, respite services, supported employment, nutrition services, assistive devices, home modifications and interpreter services. See further information about Ohio waiver programs below.

50 West Town Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Consumer Hotline: (800) 324-8680
medicaid.ohio.gov

PALS A Chrysalis Health Company

Serves: Children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities
Serves individuals with developmental disabilities by building on the foundation of physical activity and life skills (PALS). They offer adult day services, residential services, educational and vocational services, Art Outside the Lines art studio, and psychiatry and mental health services. Age and eligibility requirements vary depending on the service and location. Call for details.

  • Bellaire: 428 Thirty-fourth Street, Bellaire, Ohio 43906
  • Cadiz: 82460 Cadiz-Jewett Road, Cadiz, Ohio 43907
    (740) 942-2150
  • Columbus and Art Outside the Lines: 5250 Strawberry Farms Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43230
    (614) 454-3726
  • Heath: 585 Industrial Parkway, Heath, Ohio 43056
    (740) 249-1686
  • Gallipolis: 614 Silver Bridge Plaza, Gallipolis, Ohio 45631
    (740) 446-3775
  • Steubenville: 220 Murdock Avenue, Mingo Junction, Ohio 43938
    (740) 266-6167
  • South Point: 413 Solida Road, South Point, Ohio 43680
    (740) 442-7077

palschrysalishealth.com

Recreation Unlimited Camp

Serves: Children, Teens, Adults, and Families with developmental disabilities and health concerns, Ages 5-23 depending on the program. 
Provides a camping experience for individuals with developmental disabilities and health concerns. They offer year-round weekend respite camps, summer and winter residential camps, and summer day camps for children and adults. They also offer specialized camps for individuals with autism, Prader-Willi syndrome, military families and more. Contact the organization directly for pricing information, scholarships are available.
7700 Piper Road, Ashley, Ohio 43003
(740) 548-7006
recreationunlimited.org
2024 Camp Dates: recreationunlimited.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2024-dates.pdf

YMCA of Central Ohio

Serves: Single Adults & Families, Youth & Teens
Hosts programs for men, women and children of all ages covering health and fitness, swimming, age-specific activities, childcare, summer camps, juvenile justice, housing, and more.

  • YMCA Stable Families Service coordination Program: Families with children (from Pre-K to 12th grade) who live in Franklin County have access to a service coordinator who can help with household income, maintaining safe and stable housing, and academic achievement of school-aged children.
    (614) 219-9895
  • Juvenile Justice: Provides a structured and supervised environment for 6th to 12th grade students as an alternative to being suspended from school. Students must be referred by their school district.
    (614) 578-7568
  • Early Childhood/Childcare: Provides free childcare while parents use Y facilities, summer programs, early learning centers, preschool, and more.
    (614) 689-2096
  • Housing: Provides housing stability services for adults facing homelessness in Columbus, Ohio.
    (614) 705-9151
  • Early Childhood Resource Network Plus (ECRN+): Programming for infants and children with special needs, apply online for an adaptive equipment loan.
  • Y Cares: Infant mortality reduction program for families expecting or with a baby under the age of 1, provides free pregnancy testing, diapers, formula, home-visiting, parent support groups, and counseling.
    (614) 689-2080

Administrative Office: 1907 Leonard Ave, Columbus, OH 43219
(614) 389-4409
YMCA Locations & Contact Info: ymcacolumbus.org/locations
YMCA Columbus Website: ymcacolumbus.org


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