You don’t have to be a special needs family for cabin fever to set in over the winter months. But it can definitely be intensified, as there are fewer options to get out. Fortunately Indiana still has a handful of traditional winter activities adapted for special needs families.
For those looking for the thrill of the slopes, sledding and skiing are a great opportunity to spending time together and enjoying a crisp winter day. These activities also build proprioceptive awareness and provide great physical activity. So, it can be fun and therapeutic at the same time. Just make sure to check with your doctor or therapist to get the thumbs up before heading out.
The ski slopes are typically open mid December to mid March, and while they do use snow machines, they are still highly weather dependent. Because of this, hours of operation are subject to change without notice. Make sure to check the snow reports on their websites to stay up to date on conditions.
Perfect North Slopes – For $80, a three hour lesson includes instruction from a specialized trainer, lift ticket and adaptive equipment rental. (A six hour lesson costs $150.) Pre-registration is required. Please e-mail email@example.com to schedule an adaptive lesson.
Paoli Peaks also offers adaptive instruction to people with disabilities for $45. Reservations are required at least 3 days in advance by calling (812) 723-4696 ext.232 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Fun Sledding Day – The BIG hill at West Park in Carmel has an accessible path making it a little easier to navigate than traditional sledding. Contact Michelle at email@example.com for more information and to be notified for the next sledding day.
For those looking for indoor winter fun, the Indy Twisters offers special needs individuals a chance to learn the game of hockey at Arctic Zone in Westfield. In collaboration with DAMAR Services and the American Special Hockey Association, Indy Twisters aims to teach the fundamental skills of the game, while providing a foundation for social interaction, team building and self reliance. Practices are held weekly from October – March. For more information, contact Steve Tofaute at firstname.lastname@example.org.