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.

PAWS for Reading at the Sterling Heights Public Library

Sept. 18, 25, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2018

  • 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.

Sensory-Friendly Movies at the Bloomfield Township Public Library

Sept. 21, 2018

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

Adults and teens with special needs and their caregivers are invited to enjoy an hour-long documentary in a stress-free environment with the lights up and the sound down. No registration needed.

Sock Hop at Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg

Sept. 21, 2018

  • Address: 12451 Andersonville Road, Davisburg
  • Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/participant, $5/caregiver

Grown-ups with developmental disabilities are invited to attend this sock hop dance, which promises fun music, dinner, and of course, dancing. Registration required by Sept. 12, 2018.

National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk

Sept. 22, 2018

  • Address: Detroit Zoo, 8450 W 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Time: 7:30 a.m.-noon
  • Cost: $20/adults, $10/kids, free/2 and under

This annual walk is the largest Down syndrome fundraiser and awareness event in southeast Michigan and is open to kids and adults with Down Syndrome, their families, friends and those that want to support the cause. Walk promotes acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome, to raise funds for advocacy and research program and to enhance the position of the Down syndrome community. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. Walk begins at 8:45 a.m.

A Day for You at the Westland Police Department

Sept. 22, 2018

  • Address: 36701 Ford Road, Westland
  • Time: 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids and adults with special needs can climb behind the wheel of a real police car, watch canine demos and tour the police department. The first tour features no lights and sirens for those who are sensitive to sensory stimulation. Registration required.

Emagine Autism-Friendly Movies & Fun

Sept. 22, Oct. 6 and 20, 2018

  • Address: Locations vary including Emagine Saline (1335 E. Michigan Ave.), Novi (44425 12 Mile Road), Rochester (200 Barclay Circle), and Woodhaven (21720 Allen Road)
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Contact for details

People with autism can see new flicks in a safe, understanding environment. On Sept. 22 see The House with a Clock in its Walls (rated PG), on Oct. 6 Smallfoot plays and on Oct. 20 Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween shows.

Brickworld Michigan 2018 – LEGO® Exposition Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi

Sept. 22-23, 2018

  • Address: 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi
  • Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
  • Cost: $13, general, $12.50/cash discount at the door only, free/ages 3 and under

Enjoy interactive activities, such as the LEGO and DUPLO play brick areas, fighting robots, seek and finds and more.

Sensory Storytime at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch

Sept. 29, 2018

  • 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.

Awesome Autumn at Waterford Oaks County Park

Oct. 5, 2018

  • Address: 1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford
  • Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/participant, $5/caregiver

This event features accessible hayrides, dinner, music and dancing for people of all abilities. Registration required.

Saturday Sports Special at the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland County in Royal Oak

Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2018

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

Kids ages 6-18 with disabilities are welcome to try their hand at some adaptive sporting events including parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, basketball and others. Registration required.

Adult and Teen Sensory Storytime at the Bloomfield Township Public Library

Oct. 8, 2018

  • 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.

Special Education Fair at Macomb Intermediate School District Educational Service Center in Clinton Township

Oct. 20, 2018

  • Address: 44001 Garfield Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

This fair is packed with information to help parents and staff understand complex special education issues including bullying, documenting student behavior and creating a culture of learning at school and home. Advance registration mandatory.

Halloween Happiness at the Southfield Civic Center

Oct. 23, 2018

  • Address: 2600 Evergreen Road, Southfield
  • Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/participant, $5/caregiver

Grown-ups, ages 18-plus, with developmental disabilities are invited to a merry-not-scary Halloween party full of music, dancing and trick-or-treating. Costumes welcome. Registration required.

Experimental Art at the Macomb Township Recreation Center

Oct. 31, 2018

  • Address: 20699 Macomb Drive, Macomb
  • Time: 10:30-11:15 a.m.
  • Cost: $15/person

Adults with special needs or developmental disabilities can explore different kinds of art media and create works of art to take home. All materials provided. Each participant must be accompanied by a caregiver. Registration required.

Hoedown at Novi Parks and Recreation Cultural Services

Nov. 16, 2018

  • Address: 45175 W. 10 Mile Road, Novi
  • Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $5/caretaker, $10/participant

Those with developmental disabilities, ages 18-plus, are invited for a night of country dancing, pizza, salad and music. Registration required.

This post is updated regularly.