Resources and Programs for Adults with Special Needs

There are several resources in Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties for adults with special needs. Find details here.

If you are the parent of an older teen or adult with special needs, finding programs for your son or daughter may not always be easy. However, there are several programs throughout the metro Detroit area that are designed for teens and young adults with special needs.

People with ADD/ADHD, autism, physical impairments or developmental disabilities will find social events and support programs that promote inclusion and education for everyone.

We’ve compiled a list of some local ongoing events, programs and support groups for people in Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Know of any other offerings in southeast Michigan for adults with special needs? Comment below.

Oakland County

Autism-Friendly Movies

  • Phone: 855-77-AUTISM

Various movies are open to children, teens and adults with special needs. Movies are typically shown the first and third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m. at Emagine Novi, Emagine Rochester Hills and Emagine Canton and Emagine Saline. Call or visit the website for more information

Belightful Yoga

This mobile yoga program offers group and private yoga sessions for those with special needs. Participants work on motor skills and performance, attention, self-regulation and sensory integration through yoga.

Deaf Community Advocacy Network (DEAF C.A.N.)

  • Phone: 248-332-3331

Provides services to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, as well as their families. Also presents educational information to the community.

Deaf Community Bible Study

  • Phone: 586-246-4757

A Bible study designed for the hearing impaired. Meets Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Woodside Bible Church Troy campus. For information, email Bethany Spencer at mrsforestomper@yahoo.com. Other special needs programs also offered.

Diners Club

  • Phone: 248-656-8308

Those with special needs can meet with friends and enjoy a meal at a different restaurant once a month. Pre-registration is required.

FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation

  • Phone: 248-646-3347

FAR provides music, art and dance therapy to those with physical, intellectual and emotional challenges.

Joyful Praise at Zion Christian Church of Troy

  • Phone: 248-524-2400

Class offers opportunity for those with special needs to share and worship together.

Autism ASK

Autism ASK offers employment-related supports services. For more information, contact Beth Kimmel at 248-760-4267 or beth@autism-ask.com.

Movie Pizza Night

  • Phone: 248-656-8308

Movie and snack with friends, one Friday per month, offered for people with special needs.

Oakland County Parks

  • Phone: 248-424-7077

Offers a series of adaptive recreation social events for adults with developmental delays. Call or email adaptive@oakgov.com for details.

Oakland University Center for Autism (OUCARES)

  • Phone: 248-370-2424

Provides support and services for families and those who provide care to someone with autism. The center also educates the public on autism and strives to promote inclusion. OU Cares offers various resources for adults with special needs, including pre-employment training for adults with autism and developmental disabilities. Sports programs, an adult support group and more are also offered.

OUCARES Autism Spectrum Bowling League

  • Phone: 248-370-2424

OUCARES teams up with local bowling alleys to form leagues for those ages 16 and up with autism spectrum disorders. No bowling experience is necessary.

Rejoicing Spirits Worship Service

  • Phone: 248-644-2087

Special service designed for families and those with special needs. Includes noise reduction headphones, musical instruments for all, gluten-free refreshments and a sign-language interpreter. Stay for a special dinner following the service. For more information, call 248-644-2087 ext. 145.

Soul Studio

  • Phone: 248-788-8600

Young adults with special needs can express themselves through art, including painting, ceramics, sculpture, weaving and photography.

Special Friends Worship Program

  • Phone: 586-246-4757

Bible study for people with special needs and other services.

Thursday Night Social Group

  • Phone: 248-432-5460

Twice-monthly social group for adults 18 and older with special needs. Events are held at the Jewish Community Center. For more information, or a current schedule, call 248-432-5460.

TR Bingo Night

  • Phone: 248-625-8223

Social event for those ages 14 and older with developmental disabilities, with or without physical limitations. Call to register.

Young Adult Social Group

  • Phone: 248-432-5460

Social and recreational programs are offered once per month for young adults, ages 15-26, with special needs.

Macomb County

AMC Sensory Friendly Films

AMC Forum 30 in Sterling Heights and the AMC Star Gratiot 21 participate in the Sensory Friendly Film program on the second and fourth Tuesday and Saturday of each month. Provides an environment for everyone to watch a current movie. Check listings for times.

Bowling Program – Sterling Heights Special Recreation

  • Phone: 586-446-2700

Bowling program for those with cognitive or physical impairments. Open bowling and competitive league options are available.

Creative Cooking – Sterling Heights Special Recreation

  • Phone: 586-446-2700

A monthly class designed to help those with special needs, ages 16 through adult, learn basic meal preparation skills. Participants must be able to follow basic directions or bring an assistant.

Dance Program – Sterling Heights Special Recreation

  • Phone: 586-446-2700

Interactive dance program for children and adults with physical or developmental disabilities. Pre-registration is required.

Inclusively Fit

  • Phone: 586-850-5004

Offers fitness, recreation and social program for individuals with special needs or all ability levels.

Inclusion Ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Warren

  • Phone: 586-751-1721

Individuals with disabilities are invited to express their own unique voices, gifts and experiences in this ministry.

Judson Center

  • Phone: 586-573-1810

Offers various programs for those with autism spectrum disorders, mental illnesses or disabilities.

Life Skills Center

  • Phone: 586-468-3682

Life Skills teaches the developmentally and physically challenged adults to reach the highest level of independence through activities, education and socialization.

Macomb St. Clair Autism Society of America

  • Phone: 586-445-4915

Supports those who are navigating an autism spectrum disorder, from the newly diagnosed to adults. Offers events, resources and special programs.

MORC Stars Hockey Team

Hockey program for athletes. Not limited by age, gender or disability. Participants must be willing to learn and support their team.

Northeast Special Recreation Basketball League

  • Phone: 586-446-2700

Basketball league for those with developmental and physical impairments, ages 12 through adult. Games are played at various locations.

The Rexford Center for Therapeutic Horseback Riding

  • Phone: 586-292-8472

Private and group lessons for those with physical and developmental disabilities ages 3-55.

Social Dances – Sterling Heights Special Recreation

  • Phone: 586-446-2700

A monthly evening of music, dancing and friends for those 16 and older. Check the Sterling Heights Special Recreation website for dates, times and themes.

Warren Social Group

  • Phone: 586-258-2063

Meets weekly at the Warren Community Center for fun and socialization. Designed for 13 years and up with cognitive impairments.

Washtenaw County

ADD/ADHD Support Group

Provide local resources, education, and support to teens and adults with ADD/ADHD. Group meets regularly and offers speakers on various topics driven by needs of the attendees.

Arts in Motion

  • Phone: 734-222-6246

Classes available for those with disabilities. Dance training with an emphasis on self-expression, musicality and artistic integrity.

Assistive Media

Offers full-length, narrated books for those with disabilities. Books are offered in a downloadable format from the website.

Camp Zip

  • Phone: 313-405-7041

Provides a place for young adults to continue focusing on daily living, social skills, recreation, and vocational training.

Full Circle Community Center

  • Phone: 734-485-2020

Provides social, recreational and personal growth programs for adults with mental illness. Also provides resources and a network of support individuals.

Hearing Loss Association of America – Ann Arbor Chapter

Meets the first Thursday of every month except December, July and August at the Turner Resources Center, located at 2401 Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor. Visit the website for the most current information.

Judson Center

  • Phone: 734-528-1692

Offers various programs for those with autism spectrum disorders, mental illnesses or disabilities. Call for information on social skills groups for children and teens.

Just Us Club

Provides high-quality, affordable, family-friendly programs for children and adults with disabilities. Most of the participants have moderate to severe developmental disabilities.

Therapeutic Riding

  • Phone: 734-677-0303

Children and adults with disabilities can experience horseback riding through this adaptive program.

Wayne County

The Arc of Western Wayne County

  • Phone: 734-729-9100

Advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Autism Friendly Movies

  • Phone: 855-77-AUTISM

Various movies are open to children, teens and adults with special needs that make a regular movie experience challenging. Movies are shown the first and third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m. at Emagine Woodhaven and other locations. Call or visit the website for more information.

Judson Center

  • Phone: 586-573-1810

Offers various programs for those with autism spectrum disorders, mental illnesses or disabilities. Call for information on social skills groups for children and teens.

This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly.

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