Buddy Sports is a special needs athletic program hosted by the YMCA in Flower Mound, TX. The program started about 10 years ago when Mr. Keny McClurg moved to the area looking for a sports program for his son. At that time, the YMCA only offered a baseball program. They came together and started the Buddy Sports program. Mr. McClurg has now “retired” from the program but still comes to visit.
The Buddy Sports program meets on Sundays throughout the year, with the elementary age group playing from 2-3 and the high school age group playing from 3-4. They rotate through various sports, with each session lasting 8 weeks. Each season ends with a trophy for every participant and a pizza party, all provided by the YMCA.
The program is now run by James Huseby and Rob Young. Both have special needs boys that participate with their buddy brothers. They have been a part of the program for years.
A membership to the YMCA is not required to be a part of the program, nor a buddy. I did see some parents assisting their children and some sibling participation. Individuals at all abilities are invited to participate in the program.
This 8 week rotation is floor hockey. The coaches, Mr. Huseby and Mr. Young, made sure everyone was able to hit the puck and score a goal (even though they weren’t keeping score). The program is great for social skills, exercise, and having fun!!
For contact information please visit the Buddy Sports Facebook page HERE.
For more community resources in the area please follow my Facebook page HERE.
I do cooking lessons with my students that involves the use of a stove and oven. The goal is for my students to learn simple recipes that they will be able to do independently at home. I wanted to make sure they would know what to do if something caught on fire while they are in the kitchen so I e-mailed the local Fire Department. We were able to set up a lesson on how to use a fire extinguisher. The fire inspector was able to come to my school and my students were able to practice on a fire extinguisher that sprayed out water. The fire inspector taught us an important word to remember,PASS.
P- Pull -Pull out the pin
A- Aim -Am at the base of the fire
S- Squeeze -Squeeze the handle
S- Sweep from side to side
My students had a blast learning when and how to use a fire extinguisher. (I had a lot of fun too)
Contact your local fire department for any questions concerning fire safety.
One thing I realized after these fire safety lessons with my students is that we don’t have a plan at my home if our house catches on fire. If you are like me and don’t have a plan either make sure you sit down with your family and come up with a plan of action. The American Red Cross has some tips for fire safety:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
We will be coming up with our plan ASAP!
Texas Cheer Allstars, formerly Texas Cutez, has a place for EVERYONE! I had the privilege of spending cheer practice with their amazing special needs team. The team has a total of ten athletes with boys and girls of all ages and abilities. The team does both cheer and dance. I watched their fun routine to “Single Ladies”. It was a wonderful experience watching them perform the part of the routine they had already learned, and then to watch how quickly they picked up the new steps. The coaches’ goal is to get the special needs athletes to perform the routine with full independence, and from my observations, they aren’t far from it. These athletes are being challenged to show their full potential and having a blast while doing so. They have to be on spot and ready for competition.
This team practices once a week and a lot of the athletes participate in private lessons.
Angela Harvard Patton, owner and head coach of Texas Cheer Allstars, holds a Ph.D in Special Education Leadership and started the cheer program in 2006. She has experience in teaching individuals with special needs in both the school setting and cheer setting. On a personal note, in 2009 I was hired in the middle of the school year for my first teaching job. I was completely lost and needed someone to help me get started. Angela became my mentor and really helped me get through that difficult first year of teaching. Through our work together, I was able to see how passionate her heart is for the special needs population.
The environment at the gym felt very inclusive and family friendly. My experience there was wonderful!
Thank you for making Texas Cheer Allstars inclusive and inviting to Everyone!!!
“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion. ”
― Martha Graham
Who doesn’t love a big bucket of that buttery movie theater popcorn? Some movie theaters around the country invite special needs individuals and their families to enjoy Sensory Friendly Films. With the lights up and the volume lowered your child is able to sing, dance, and move around while the film is playing. Studio Movie Grill offers two showings a month with free tickets to special needs children and their siblings. AMC Theaters offers films on the second and fourth Saturday and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Find a movie theater near you, order some popcorn, and enjoy the show!