Know Your Rights

Some parents are reluctant to tell recreation providers that their child has autism or mention the child’s special recreational needs because they fear they will be turned away, says Adrienne Robertiello, an autism educator at the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside. But if a sports, arts or other organization offers a program for the general public, it must include a child with special needs. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects the right of the child to receive a needs assessment, participate in an integrated recreation program, receive reasonable accommodations and use adaptive equipment. In most instances, the recreation provider cannot charge additional fees for reasonable accommodations or for participating in an integrated setting.

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