Keeping our recreation participants active, healthy and engaged is our number one goal! Accordingly, The Els for Autism Foundation® offers recreation programs specifically developed for children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities. Programming is held at The Els Center of Excellence® campus located in Jupiter, Florida, and new participants must complete the Els for Autism® intake process before beginning any program or activity.
To register for any of our recreation programs listed below:
About the Ernie Els #GameON Autism® Programs
Through the Ernie Els #GameON Autism Programs, we are changing the culture of sports and recreation. As a result, people with autism are beginning to feel included and welcomed to participate in recreation activities, go to public places, and even take lessons or group classes with their local sports professionals. We believe recreation, specifically sports, can be an effective supplemental therapy for individuals with autism. Resources for this program and information for starting up your own program can be found here.
Golf classes at Els for Autism use the Ernie Els #GameON Autism Golf program, specifically designed to teach golf to people with ASD. In each class, participants will learn and practice foundational motor skills through fun athletic games and golf activities while also practicing social/communication skills. Learn More
Tennis classes at Els for Autism use the Ernie Els #GameON Autism Tennis program, a structured tennis learning experience that includes: basic strokes, hand-eye coordination, racket handling and sequencing of the various strokes together, as well as components of the game-based process. Learn More
Ernie Els #GameON Autism Fitness is an innovative, research-based fitness and wellness program for individuals with ASD. It incorporates the use of traditional fitness equipment, as well as music, dance, and video games as a means of motivating student participation in fitness activities. Learn More
Special needs Yoga enhances stamina, flexibility, energy, and strength in a fun and motivating social environment. Classes include warm-ups, breathing exercises, cardio routines, developmentally appropriate yoga poses, and relaxation techniques. Learn More
Kickball Club provides individuals the opportunity to participate in a team sport with their peers. Participants will engage in a number of physical activities including running, throwing, rolling, and catching. There is a maximum of 10 participants per class. Each class will include a warmup, skill-building, and 30 minutes of play.
All classes in the Reach and Teach through the Arts Program are taught by certified instructors, and the Foundation has also created partnerships in the community with Whole Vibes, LLC, The Palm Beach Opera, and Right On Q Theater Group in order to serve the wider autism community.
Dance and Movement Therapy
This class introduces individuals to the fundamentals of dance in a positive and creative environment. Through rhythmic exercises, basic ballet techniques, and creative movement, individuals develop creative expression, as well as an awareness and understanding of the mechanics of their body movement. Dancers will participate in movement games that encourage spontaneous and creative expression, build movement vocabulary & repertoire and allow safe exploration while promoting social skills, peer interactions & relationship development. Learn More
The Inter-Ability Chorus is a community choir for individuals with special needs ages 16+ led by Erica Lyles, our music therapist and owner of Whole Vibes, LLC. Participants will learn singing skills and techniques, gain confidence and self-esteem, enhance communication, and develop self-expression while engaging with their peers. Learn More
Exploration of music and dance can facilitate personal growth for people on the spectrum in many areas, including gross and fine motor skills, speech and language through song, memory and mental agility, social skills, confidence, and self-expression. Learn More
Connections Club (Teen + Adults)
Spectrum Book Club
The Spectrum Virtual Book Club is for individuals ages 18 and older with autism or developmental disabilities who enjoy exploring the world of literature. Participants do not need to own a copy of the book. During the meeting, participants will be able to see the story and members of the Els for Autism Foundation staff will facilitate the group. Learn More
Financial Need Assistance
The Foundation offers programs and services to the entire community, and services are NOT limited to individuals enrolled at The Learning Academy or The Learning Center. Additionally, some individuals may qualify for financial assistance. Complete the Financial Need Assistance Application here.