Special Needs Events for Kids and Parents in Metro Detroit

Parents of children with special needs in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor can plan ahead for fun activities, sensory-friendly movie showings and more that are tailored to meet their needs.

There are always plenty of fun activities going on around southeast Michigan for kids and families to enjoy. But sometimes it’s nice for children with special needs to have an event that’s designed just for them – from sensory-friendly movie showings to a chance to try something new in a more patient, supportive environment. Parents can also benefit from workshops, support meetings and other events geared toward moms and dads of children with special needs.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list featuring some great upcoming special needs events for kids and their parents. Take a peek at these activities for people with special needs and their families.

Interested in adding an upcoming special needs event in southeast Michigan to this roundup – or to our calendar of upcoming events? Just submit event details there, and we’ll see that it’s added to this list, as well.

A word of advice: Some events may require pre-registration. Click on the calendar listing for the event and get details on pre-registering and how to contact the organizer for more details.


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PAWS for Reading at the Sterling Heights Public Library

March 19 and 26, 2019

  • Address: 40255 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays
  • Cost: Free

Trained therapy dogs don’t judge or interrupt. That’s why they visit the library and sit with kids as they practice their reading skills.

Saturday Sports Special at the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland and Macomb Counties

March 23 and 30, 2019 

  • Address: 1545 E. Lincoln, Royal Oak
  • Time: 9:30-11 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids ages 6-18 with disabilities can try some parachute games, floor hockey kickball, basketball and other sports. Advance registration required.

OUCARES Family Fun Day at the Oakland University Recreation Center in Rochester 

March 23, 2019

  • Address: Oakland University Recreation Center, 2200 N. Squirrel Road, Rochester
  • Time: noon-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids and grown-ups with autism spectrum disorders enjoy art projects, face painting, inflatable bouncers, swimming and more. There’s an information fair for caretakers, too.

Count Me In! Special Needs Storytime at the Canton Public Library

March 23, 2019

  • Address: 1200 S. Canton Center Road, Canton
  • Time: 4-4:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Enjoy picture books, songs and simple sign language for all ages and levels of ability.

Autism-Friendly Films at Emagine Theatres 

March 23, 2019

  • Address: Local Emagine locations in Canton, Macomb, Novi, Rochester Hills and Saline
  • Time: 10:30 a.m.
  • Cost: Contact for details

These special movie screenings offer a sensory-friendly atmosphere for kids and grown-ups with autism or other sensory-processing disorders. Catch a screening of Captain Marvel (rated PG-13) on March 23.

Metro Parent’s Living With Autism Workshop at Detroit Marriott Troy

April 5, 2019

  • Address: Detroit Marriott Troy,  200 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy
  • Time: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $125/general, $155/with SCECH credit

Those who have kids with autism in their lives find valuable resources. Keynote speakers include author and registered nurse anesthetist Anita Lesko and Frank Campagna, aka the Autism Daddy. Advance registration required.

TR Pizza Movie Night at Clintonwood Park in Clarkston 

April 5, 2019

  • Address: Clintonwood Park, 6000 Clarkston Road, Clarkston
  • Time: 6-8 p.m.
  • Cost: $6/person

Kids and adults with special needs vote on a movie to watch and then snack on pizza, salad and dessert while they watch. Registration required.

Sensory Storytime at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch 

April 6, 2019

  • Address: 2503 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 10-11 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids ages 3-7 are welcome to enjoy an hour filled with interactive stories, rhymes and free play.

Adult and Teen Sensory Storytime at the Bloomfield Township Public Library

April 8, 2019

  • Address: 1099 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Township
  • Time: 11 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Adults and teens with special needs are invited for a story full of songs, movement and art. A support person is welcome to come and participate. Registration is not required.

Baseball Bash at the Royal Oak Senior Center 

April 12, 2019

  • Address: 3500 Marais Ave., Royal Oak
  • Time: 6-8 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/person, $5/caregiver

This event features nachos, popcorn, dancing and baseball fun for adults with developmental disabilities. Advance registration required.

This post is updated regularly.