Special Needs Programs

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Make lasting friendships, foster new relationships, join a team, and be an active member in a community that cares. There are a range of options for teens to find a community of their peers where they can explore their individual interests.

Virtual Transitions

Transitions is a social program for 16- to 21-year-olds with a variety of special needs, including teens and young adults on the autism spectrum with a high potential for independence, and those with varied communication and learning differences. On Thursdays during the academic year, participants meet virtually to engage in learning and activities. Through these fun and social activities, there is an opportunity to build friendships while emphasizing independence and the acquisition of life skills. Participants' interests help to shape the program and the activities that are chosen. In order to ensure that Transitions classes are composed of a group of individuals who will optimally benefit from the program, a brief intake process is required.

For more information or to begin the intake conversation, please contact Michelle Wexler. Online registration is open to continuing members.


Virtual Worldly Wednesdays

Tired of spending time at home? Join us for a trip around the globe! In this class, your tour guides will teach you all about the countries and cities of your choice. You might find us learning how to make a pizza, how to speak French, or taking a tour of this world’s greatest monuments, all while making friends along the way.

For more information and to ensure the program is a good fit, please contact Michelle Wexler.  


Virtual Teen Game Night Social

Join us every Tuesday this fall for games and skill building! We will learn new games and play some old favorites too. All the while, participants will learn and develop the positive communication skills needed for game play. Skills discussed include turn taking, how to be a gracious winner/loser, cheering on your teammates, and working together. Participants will walk away with confidence in their ability to play games with peers!

For more information and to ensure the program is a good fit, please contact Michelle Wexler.


Virtual Girls' Night Out

Virtual Girls Night Out allows teens of all abilities to foster close friendships with other young women, work on self confidence, and practice positive communication skills. The group is peer-supported which empowers participants to learn about planning, compromise, working as a team, and decision making. Facilitated social interaction allows for a setting where participants can further develop their reciprocal conversation skills. Participants pick the weekly activities, including karaoke, dance parties, watching movies, yoga, art, and more!

Interested in learning more, please contact Mollie Gibson. All participants will need an intake before joining the group.


Virtual Teen Movie Matinee

Each month, the group chooses a different movie to watch and discuss! The discussion portion allows participants to further develop conversation skills and self confidence in a social setting! We begin every program by checking in with our group participants and end our time together asking and answering questions about the film. Staff will empower program participants to ask questions to one another and answer them in expected ways. Participants will also gain confidence to share their voice by sharing their reactions to the film with the rest of the group. Conversation will be facilitated through the chat function for the entirety of the program to practice the skills they learn.

For more information and to ensure the program is a good fit, please contact Max Beede.


Virtual Teen Dance Party

Grab your dancing shoes and join us for Saturday evening Teen Dance Parties! Show off your moves and learn new ones from your friends while listening to your favorite songs. In between songs, the group leader will facilitate conversation around music and dancing!

For more information and to ensure the program is a good fit, please contact Max Beede.


All of the Center for Special Needs programs are open to the broader community.

For more information, please email Michelle Wexler.

Transitions is supported by NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Girls Night Out is supported by the New York City Council's Autism Initiative.

Help us continue to ensure accessible programming for everyone. Please support Special Needs programming at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.