Youth Development Programs

Y Special Needs (YSN)

The New Canaan YMCA believes that all children are first and foremost children, regardless of need or ability. All individuals are welcomed and encouraged to participate at our Y! Whether that be within our traditional programs; with adaptations and additional support or in one of our specialized classes, individual differences are to be celebrated in an enriching recreational experience.

Our special needs department has designed several programs specifically for teens and adults with special needs. Please note that all programs, including specialized programs, are open to all YMCA members, regardless of need or ability.

Check out current YSN programming by viewing the brochure.

Y Special Needs Activities

Youth & Teen Activities

A variety of afternoon and Saturday programs for teens with special needs! Peer buddies are always welcome to join the fun. Teen programming includes yoga, theater workshops, music, fitness, cooking, sports, swimming, social outings, and more!


Young Adult Activities

A variety of afternoon and Saturday programs for young adults with special needs! Programming includes wellness and fitness classes, like cooking, swimming, and sports. There are also a variety of classes in the arts, like theater, music, and more!


Summer Camps

Special Cares Support (Ages 3-14 years)

An inclusive program available at Camp Mini, Sports Camps, & Camp Y-Ki offers campers of varying limitations the opportunity to participate in a traditional camp experience with additional support for up to 4 weeks of camp at no extra cost. Extra support is  offered based on availability and need.

Camp Jam for Teens & Young Adults (Ages 13+)

Six-week program offered at our Y, this camp program is specifically designed to meet the needs of our participants with special needs who require additional direction and support, but do not require 1:1 or intensive behavioral and/or physical intervention. This specialized camp offers a high staff-to-camper ratio and a structured schedule that rotates weekly to offer: swimming, art, dance, music therapy, yoga, group fitness, with a personal trainer, drama, cooking, and weekly special events (i.e., African Drumming, Mad Science, and Magic Show). Camp Jam offers participants the opportunity to participate in an enriching summer camp experience while developing skills, building friendships, staying active, and most importantly having fun!

For more information on YSN programs, contact Carolynn Kaufman, Director of Special Needs Programming at 203-920-1656 or

Support Services for Traditional YMCA Activities

Our support staff is limited and will be provided to qualified participants on a first come, first served basis. Families interested in additional support for inclusive programming for any program at our Y, or interested in more information, should contact Carolynn Kaufman, Director of Special Needs Programming at 203-920-1656.