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Meeting You at the J!

Special Needs: Online Resources & Activities

The Shames JCC’s Department of Special Needs put together the following messages and resources for our special needs program participants and anyone else who might benefit. We hope that the recognizable, friendly faces of our special needs staff brings you and your family some insight, support, comfort, and smiles. 



Arts & Crafts/Science


Life Skills

List of Positive Social Skills (to practice at home)

by Tricia Gressel

Sharing: Being polite and courteous (holding the door for someone, letting someone go ahead of you, using polite words (thank you and your welcome).

Communicate effectively (good eye contact, active listening): Active listening includes looking at the person, maintaining a comfortable body position, and keeping your mind clear of anything else. Do an exercise of actively listening to someone and let the other know when he/she is finished talking what was said.

Empathy: Being sensitive to others feelings. Make a list of feelings and emotions.

Respect: Respect differences of opinion, respect personal space, respect someone by using polite language.

Proper body language: For example; sitting up straight, not invading someone else’s space, use good posture (stand against wall to practice good posture), and more.

Ability to learn from mistakes: Admitting your mistake and accepting responsibility for it. Everyone makes mistakes. It is normal and expected that people cannot do things perfectly. The only way to learn from mistake is to make one.

Humor (making a joke): Look up some jokes that you can pass on to a friend. Humor is a great way of making contact with people and its fun. Making fun of someone is not good and should never happen. It is mean spirited and will not make you a friend.

Patience: Being able to wait for others to have a turn, giving others the chance to catch up to you, letting others finish a sentence.

Maintaining eye contact: Look directly at the person you are speaking to.

Flexibility: Being open to making changes. Changes happen all the time. They sometimes make people feel anxious. Change can be positive and helps people get used to new things. Flexible also means allowing others to come up with their own ideas even if they are different than yours.

Cooperation: Going along with directions given, the group activity or doing what is asked of you by an adult.

Accepting criticism: Allow others to let you know what you are doing wrong in order to do it better next time. It is a way of growing and learning how to improve yourself.

Teamwork: Be a part of the group by agreeing to work together.

Offer compliments: Everyone wants to hear nice things about themselves. It helps their self-confidence and make them feel good. (Make a list of compliments for others Example I like your shirt, you are very smart, your haircut looks good.

Think positive thoughts: It will always help you feel good and happy.

To download this article as a PDF, click here.