Sports & Fitness Classes for Special Needs in Dallas-Fort Worth / 23 programs to keep your kid active

Alexis Manrodt & Lisa Salinas
May 2018 in
April 16, 2018
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Sports programs for special needs are plentiful in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, making it easier than ever to get your kid off the sidelines and into shape. Before enrolling your child, be sure to visit a doctor to check that your child is healthy enough to participate in his or her sport of choice. It’s helpful to speak with the coach or instructor about your child’s disabilities and the best way to work with your little one to ensure the best season ever. Game on!


Angel League 
Teams are available for individuals ages 4–15 and age 16 and up with all disabilities. The spring season is now in session. Register online.
Cost: Free
Yellowjacket Park, 995 W. Yellowjacket Lane, Rockwall; 972/722-6001

Buddy League
Start your weekends with Buddy League’s Saturday morning baseball games, open to ages 4–18. Teams are divided by age. Register online.
Cost: $10 per year for spring and fall seasons; T-shirt and
equipment included
Bradfield Park, 1220 Castle Drive, Garland; 972/414-9280

Miracle League of DFW
All ages and abilities are welcome to play in the local
league’s two-inning game—games are always a tie at the end, and everyone wins. Register online for the six-week
fall or spring season. Contact Grace Whetstone at
Cost: $25 per season; some scholarships available
Randol Mill Park, 1901 W. Randol Mill Road, Arlington;

Miracle League of Irving 
Batter up! All abilities and needs are welcome in Irving’s free softball and baseball league. To enroll your kiddie,
visit the Irving YMCA or pop by the field on game day. Spring season is now in session. Contact executive director John Munoz at
Cost: Free
Cottonwood Creek Park, 4051 N. Story Road, Irving;

Miracle League of Southlake
Baseball enthusiasts 5 and up with all abilities and special needs, including high-functioning autism, vision impairment and limited mobility, are welcome. Games last two innings and each player is assigned a typical buddy. For more information email
Cost: Free
Bicentennial Park, 450 W. Southlake Blvd., Southlake;


Dallas Jr. Wheelchair Mavericks 
Aspiring Mavs ages 5–18 can don a blue-and-white jersey
of their own in this wheelchair league. Kids are divided into three groups: two varsity teams, a prep team and a futures team with more one-on-one instruction. Register
online. For more info, contact Jodi Commers at
Cost: $12 per month, plus a membership to the Bachman
Recreation Center ($5 annually for ages 6–17)
2750 Bachman Drive, Dallas, 214/670-6266

Cheer, Dance & Tumbling

ASI Gymnastics 
Kids ages 3–18 with autism, genetic conditions, neuromuscular disorders, vision or hearing impairment, and general developmental delays can gain strength and skills in ASI’s Gymmie Kids program. Coaches will evaluate whether your child should take customized private lessons or enroll in a class led by a support coach. Private and group lessons are conducted weekly.
Cost: Prices start at $68 per month, plus $30 enrollment fee
Multiple locations;

Cheer Academy
Cheerleaders 5 and older learn basic cheer steps as well as
tumbling moves as part of the academy’s special needs team. Led by U.S. All Star Federation–certified coaches, the coed squad regularly struts their stuff at competitions held everywhere from Six Flags to AT&T Stadium. Practices are Mondays from 6–7pm. To enroll, contact Patty at
Cost: Free
805 Secretary Drive, Suite C, Arlington; 817/823-7522

Dana's Studio of Dance
Kids 9 and up join instructor Lücke Alexandre for a special needs hip-hop class on Monday from 6:30–7:30pm at the studio’s Keller outpost. The current
program ends in June, so visit the studio website to enroll in the upcoming season, which kicks off in August.
Cost: $75 per month; free trial class available
5700 Kroger Drive, Keller; 817/745-3262

Encore School of Dance 
No Boundaries is a coed class for dancers with special needs of all ages and abilities. Sign up for the introductory-level class online or at the studio. Parents are invited to stay and observe—or bust a move or two yourselves!
Cost: Free
208 W.J. Boaz Road, Saginaw; 817/232-9393

Express Cheer
Each cheerleader on the Shining Stars team has a typical cheer helper, plus two coaches who lead the squad to perform routines at local events and competitions. Weekly practices start in June, but athletes can join the team through September. Register online.
Cost: $25 per month, plus $35 annual fee and $100 uniform rental fee
9550 John W. Elliott Drive, Frisco; 972/731-5888

The Palaestra
The developmental gymnastics program offers private lessons and group integration classes for tumblers 3 and
older. In weekly 50-minute classes, children with all
mental disabilities and most physical disabilities (children
who use wheelchairs might be limited) will learn to use beams, ropes and trampolines. Register by phone or online.
Cost: $80 per month
4335 N. Beltwood Parkway N., Farmers Branch; 972/620-9922

Sacred Ground Dance 
Kids 7–18 can bust a move at hip-hop classes every
Wednesday from 5:30–6:15pm. Sacred Ground also offers a buddy program that pairs kids with high school students in the typical dance program to socialize and learn a few new moves.
Cost: $20/month
3301 Long Prairie Road, Suite 135, Flower Mound; 806/241-7226

Spirit Xtreme
Spirit Xtreme’s Rejoice team is open to boys and girls 5–18. Cheerleaders with all disabilities can work up a sweat learning traditional cheer steps and boost their self-confidence through dance performances. Practices begin mid-August—contact for
information or attend the parent information meeting on Monday, June 4, to learn more.
Cost: Prices start at $35 per month, plus $35 registration fee
2895 Market Loop, Southlake; 817/251-8984

Texas Cheer Allstars
TCA offers both cheer and dance programs for performers
with special needs: Dance class is Sunday from 2:45–3:15pm, and cheer practice follows from 3:15–3:45pm. TCA also offers private lessons for anyone who wants
individual training. Contact for more information.
Cost: $45 per month for one program or $65 for both, plus fees and uniform cost
1214 Metro Park Blvd., Suite 203, Lewisville; 469/233-2882


Dallas Sled Stars 
The Dallas Stars Foundation supports this sled hockey league that caters to athletes with limited mobility, amputees and typical athletes with leg and hip injuries. Kids 5 and older can join the youth league, which runs
September through March. Contact for information and to inquire about the soon-to-launch Special hockey team for athletes
with all disabilities.
Cost: $45 per year; first year free
Dr Pepper StarCenter, 12700 N. Stemmons Freeway, Farmers Branch; 682/556-1277


Buddy Sports at Cross Timbers YMCA
The Y’s Buddy Sports program welcomes kids ages 5–18
interested in basketball, kickball and more. Register in person. For more information, contact DeWayne Norris at
Cost: $25; YMCA membership not needed
2021 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound, 972/539-9622

RISE Adaptive Sports
All ages are invited to participate in RISE’s free adaptive programs, from rugby to volleyball to swimming to tubing to handcycling. RISE serves individuals with a wide range of special needs and medical conditions. Enroll online. Email with questions.
Cost: Free
Multiple locations; 469/762-5075


Aqua-Fit Swim & Fitness Wellness Center 
Six-week sessions are available Monday and Saturday year-round for ages 3 and up. The Froggies program develops each class to fit your child’s needs and abilities. Call to register.
Cost: $119 for six lessons, plus $69 annual enrollment fee
1400 Summit Ave., Suite D2, Plano; 972/578-7946

Aqua-Tots Swim School
Ages 4 months to 12 years are welcome to join the Special
Needs Aquatic Program (SNAP). Specific goals are created for every swimmer through an initial evaluation and ongoing parent-instructor meetings. Private lessons are also available. Register online.
Cost: Classes begin at $89 per month for one class per week
Multiple locations;

Emler Swim School 
Kiddos learn stroke styles and distance swimming through a customizable semester-long curriculum. Group lessons, semi-private lessons and private lessons are available at every location. Register online.
Cost: Prices vary by location but begin at $99.23 per month
Multiple locations;


Coppell Topsoccer
Boys and girls ages 4–19 with mental and physical
disabilities can join this program by the Coppell Youth Soccer Association. Teams are organized according to physical size and ability, with TOPS teams facing off against typical teams in the CYSA in eight noncompetitive
games throughout the season. Enrollment runs April–July, and the season kicks off the weekend after Labor Day.
Cost: $35 per season, plus cost of jersey
509 W. Bethel Road, Coppell; 972/304-0886


Aceing Autism Dallas 
Kids with autism spectrum disorder ages 5–18 work on
hand-eye coordination, racket skills, volleys and social skills while playing a fun game of tennis. Young adults ages 19–30 are also welcome. Fall, spring and summer sessions are available. For more information, contact Adrienne or Matthew Bransky at
Cost: Varies per age, $65–$120
The University of Texas at Dallas, 2400 Armstrong Drive,
Richardson; 214/901-9010


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