Do you have a child with special needs? The Greenville, SC area is full of wonderful places and things to do for children and families with special needs. At Kidding Around Greenville we assembled this list to make finding those amazing places just a tiny bit easier. We made sure it was packed full of resources, classes, therapy options and super fun places to play and explore.
Disclaimer: This list is intended for informational purposes and none of the contents should be considered a specific recommendation or endorsement from Kidding Around or its staff. All advertisements are marked “sponsored.”
Note: Due to COVID-19, some resources or services may be temporarily unavailable. We recommend calling venues or services to learn more.
Also, don’t miss this list of Exceptional Needs Resources with even more resources for families with children who have exceptional needs.
Easily navigate this list of Special Needs Services near Greenville by clicking on these categories:
YMCA of Greenville
TITLE SPONSOR Various Locations, Upstate, SC
The YMCA of Greenville has multiple programs and opportunities for children and families with special needs to enjoy. These include Camp Greenville, iCan Bike, RECESS and swim lessons.
Camp Greenville, operated by the YMCA of Greenville for 110 years, offers family camp weekends for families with members who have Down syndrome and Autism. Spectrum & Stargazer Family Camp offers a spring and a fall weekend in a fun and safe environment to have amazing family fun. Enjoy the beauty and adventure of camp with others who understand how amazingly unique and talented we all are in our different ways.
Spring Spectrum & Stargazer Family Camp is May 6-8, 2022.
Fall Spectrum & Stargazer Family Camp is September 16-18, 2022.
Registration for both weekends is currently open.
A vast majority of people with disabilities have never had the experience of independently riding a conventional two-wheel bicycle. Research shows that over 80% of people with Autism and 90% of people with Down syndrome never experience this. YMCA of Greenville collaborates with iCan Shine to defy these odds by running a 5-day camp called iCan Bike, which teaches individuals with disabilities how to ride a conventional, two-wheel bike.
Camp host: Eastside Family YMCA
Camp dates: July 25, 2022 – July 29, 2022
Camp location: Taylors First Baptist Church 200 West Main Street Taylors, SC
RECESS (Recreation, Education, Community, Exercise, Social and Service) is a signature program of The YMCA of Greenville for post-high school adults with diverse abilities. During programming, participants learn about nutrition, fitness, social responsibility, community outreach, and independent living skills. RECESS allows adults with diverse abilities not only a place to continue to learn new skills, but also gives them a place to connect with friends and gain a sense of belonging.
The YMCA of Greenville offers their own swim curriculum for those with diverse abilities. The Caine Halter Family branch and Prisma Health Family branch offer private lessons in addition to a monthly swim with YMCA RECESS participants. Contact your branch to set up an introductory session!
McCulloh Therapeutic Solutions offers the speech and language services you are looking for to help your child continue his or her development. For the past 15 years, MTS has been the recognized name in motor planning, speech, sensory, and oral-motor therapies for the Upstate of South Carolina. The best part is your child’s speech or language screening at our locations in Spartanburg and Greenville is FREE! If you have concerns about your child’s speech development, fine or gross motor skills, picky-eating or feeding habits, or if your child has been diagnosed with apraxia, autism, auditory processing, we can help. You are not in this alone! Our team of speech-language pathologists is ready to work with you and your child to reach your goals. MTS accepts many forms of speech coverage including SC Medicaid, SC BabyNet, private pay, Health Savings accounts, private insurance, and TRICARE. It’s easy to schedule an appointment to learn more.
Spartanburg office: call 864.576.7188
Greenville office: call 864.244.3474
Email us anytime at [email protected]
An educational academy offered through Project HOPE Foundation, the school offers education for children on the autism spectrum, preschool through high school. ABA therapy services are provided, with classes Monday through Friday.
Hope Academy at Project HOPE Foundation, Inc. is amazing. Patient and kind teachers who are interested in helping children learn on their level. I’m so thankful I found this school for my boys.
BabyNet is South Carolina’s system for children under 3 years old with developmental delays. Parents, friends, doctors, teachers, and caregivers can all refer a child to BabyNet. Once referred children will be evaluated to see if their delays qualify for services. The evaluation and services are free to all families and funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and managed through the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Chuck E. Cheese opens two hours early on the first Sunday of the month for Sensory Sensitive Sundays. During these events, lighting and noise will be reduced, while the usual food and games are available.
Due to COVID-19, Sensory Sensitive Sundays are temporarily suspended. Check their website for the most up-to-date event information.
Thrive Upstate offers many services for people with disabilities in the Upstate. These services include early intervention for children, but also pre-vocational and vocational training, residential housing, and more. In KidVentures, the early intervention program, an early interventionist works with parents and children on the child’s developmental goals, as well as coordinating necessary services and therapy.
Einstein Academy is a non-profit private school for 1st-8th graders who have been diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, Autism and/or similar challenges.
Whispering Pines offers a therapeutic horseback riding program for people with special needs. They also offer vocational training for high school students with autism.
Organized baseball designed for children with mental and physical challenges. A specially equipped field called “Miracle Park” is utilized to maximize the experience for those involved, including wheelchair accommodations and walking assistance devices.
Help Me Grow is a free resource for parents with children age 5 and under. They provide free developmental assessments and then help connecting families with the necessary resources, therapy and information.
Leap of Faith Farm offers adapted horseback riding for those with special needs by a PATH, Intl Registered Instructor.
Designed for children aged 3.5 through 19, Brain Balance works with students who may have ADHD, Asperger’s, processing challenges, trouble making friends, and/or a learning disability like dyslexia. Brain Balance identifies academic, social, and/or behavioral, then sets a plan to help address specific needs.
Through the RiteCare Scottish Rite Childhood Language Program, the John I. Smith Scottish Rite Center in Greenville offers free speech therapy to children up to age 6 who have speech and language delays. Children will be evaluated to determine if services are needed and placed on a waiting list if there is no room available.
Special Instruction FYI: Index Online Resources
State Wide / World Wide , SC
University of South Carolina School of Medicine giant online resource guide searchable by topic. This database offers links and explores topics for early childhood screenings, assistance services, and various resource solutions.
Nation Wide, SC
A website with a wealth of resources for parents and teachers of children with learning disabilities, disorders, and differences. The website offers resources for learning disabilities and ADHD.
Dance Without Limits serves dance students ages 18 months and up, including adults and students with disabilities. The staff has extensive experience with students of all abilities. They offer a class specifically for students with different abilities called Limitless Friends. Dance Without Limits is also an inclusive dance studio, encouraging dancers of all abilities to participate in any of their dance classes.
Happy Hooves Therapeutic Equestrian Center
864.898.0043 4700 Dacusville Highway, Marietta, SC
Happy Hooves Therapeutic Equestrian Center is located at Eden Farms. They offer horse-centered programs for special needs children and adults. Programs include riding and caring for horses while developing physical, social, and emotional skills.
A resource for families who have children with autism spectrum disorder working to improve their lives.
BlueSprig Autism provides applied behavior analysis (ABA), behavioral services and autism therapy.
Offers swimmings lessons and classes for athletes diagnosed with developmental challenges, including Downs Syndrome and individuals on the Autism spectrum.
Offers early intervention, case management, and speech therapy services to individuals with disabilities and special needs in the Upstate.
The Bon Secours Wellness Arena has an enclosed Sensory Suite that blocks out the noise of a typical arena show that might cause difficulty for sensitive individuals. The suite has soft seating, low lights, and a quiet space with sensory accessories. Tickets can be purchased in the sensory suite for selected shows. This is located in section 105.
Additionally, the arena offers a Sensory Kit that is free and available at all arena events. The kit includes noise-reducing earmuffs, antiglare glasses, a sensory fidgit toy, sanitizing wipes, and more.
The Carolina Dance Collaborative is a mobile dance outreach 501(c)3 organization that seeks to make dance accessible to all people regardless of location, ability, or resources. They aim to serve the whole student and provide enriching dance education opportunities beyond the classroom and into their lives.
- Summer Dance is a collaboration with the Down Syndrome Association of the Upstate. Summer Dance is part of their adaptive program in which classes are offered for children and teens aged 5 and up.
- Located at 4180 East North Street, Greenville SC.
- Connect Class for individuals with disabilities ages 6 and up. Connecting with one another, the space, and the foundations of dance.
- Saturdays 12:00-1:00 pm
- Kroc Greenville
- For more information about the class please visit HERE
A Spartanburg organization working to make a difference in the lives of those with special needs, from newborns to seniors. Offers an early intervention program called Can Do Kids as well as day programs, work programs, employment services, and living options.
Camperdown Academy is a special education school located in Greenville that offers education and support for students with dyslexia and language-based learning differences in grades 1-8.
2023 KABOOM Family Favorites Finalist: Pediatric Therapy Office
Kidnetics is a department of the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital. They offer a wide range of therapeutic services to children, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy.
Kidnetics has multiple locations: Academy Street in Greenville, at GHS Children’s Hospital on the Greenville Memorial Medical Campus, and in Spartanburg at North Grove Medical Park
Located in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Library, families can borrow materials covering a variety of disability-related topics. Materials are available to any resident of the United States, with lending in-person or via mail.
The South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, located in Spartanburg, offers a specialized school for children from preschool through grade 12. The school provides vision and hearing services in communities and schools throughout South Carolina.
Family Connection of SC supports families of children with special needs. Programs and services provide parents with support and guidance in locating helpful services for their children, as well as parent-to-parent mentoring.
A to Z Speech Therapy welcomes children, teens, and adults that need help with communication. Their team has experts for articulation, language development, stuttering, social skill development, and more. A to Z has extensive experience working with children with Autism and Down syndrome. Therapy is offered in English or Spanish.
SC 2-1-1 is a South Carolina resource database to help individuals find assistance. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 2-1-1.
The Center for Developmental Services houses many partner services for children with special needs in one location. They offer a wide range of therapy for developmental delays, speech, hearing, behavioral and more, including family programs and educational programs. The Center for Developmental Services also connects families with the services suitable for their needs.
Offers pediatric therapy services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language therapy.
ChanceLight Autism Services provides behavioral treatment services for children ages 20 months to 21 years. Services are available in home, at schools and through EAP clinics.
Child Find is an intervention program for school-aged children needing intervention for developmental delays and special needs. Evaluations and services are provided through Greenville County Schools and individual districts within the Spartanburg County School system.
The WNC Nature Center is certified as “sensory inclusive” and offers kits to guests with sensory issues such as autism and PTSD. The center has collaborated with KultureCity, a non-profit organization specializing in sensory challenges, and has trained the staff to accommodate those with special needs. The kits can be borrowed while at the center and consist of noise cancelling headphones, fidget tools, and cue cards.
This informal organization is comprised of self advocates, service providers, families, and community stakeholders working to make the community better a place to live for people with disabilities. You’ll find resources on everything from housing and employment to recreation.
ABLE Kids offers a full-day immersive program for children between the ages of 2 -6 who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder level 2 -3 and who require 30 or more hours of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services. In addition to ABA therapies, ABLE Kids also provides occupational and speech therapies.
This parent- and volunteer-run organization serves over 300 families in Greenville. They support new and expectant parents of children with Down Syndrome, advocate and educate for inclusion in the community, and provide services and online resources to assist families.
The state agency that oversees and funds services for those with disabilities and special needs.
A special Easter event for those in the Spartanburg community with mental and/or physical disabilities. Hunts are divided into age groups, and a Parent Buddy is allowed for children under 6.
A safe, family dining experience to connect with others and become part of a community. They offer resources and host events for those with special needs.
Offers pediatric services including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, feeding therapy, and aquatic therapy. Pediatrics Unlimited has locations in Greenville and Spartanburg.
Advanced Therapy Solutions Pediatrics
Multiple Locations, Upstate, SC
Advanced Therapy Solutions Pediatrics has two Greenville locations and three Spartanburg locations. They provide a wide variety of services to children with special needs and developmental delays including occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. Therapists at ATS also use specialty programs that can help with auditory processing, feeding difficulties, and more. These include the Interactive Metronome (IM), Integrated Listening Systems (ILS), and Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Feeding.
Mountainside 28 Jimmy Doolittle Drive, Greenville
Seaside 10 Jimmy Doolittle Drive, Greenville
Westside 8811 Warren Abernathy Hwy, Spartanburg
Eastside 660 Cummings Street, Spartanburg
Spartanburg Pediatrics 2400 Winchester Place, Suite 102B, Spartanburg
Here are a few playgrounds in the Greenville area that have features designed specifically for kids with mobility difficulties. Accessible and inclusive playgrounds give children of all abilities access to playgrounds and other recreational activities. While there are only a few fully inclusive playgrounds in the Upstate, there are several playgrounds, and play areas that have accessible elements, such as poured-rubber ground cover, flat paths, zero-depth entrances, ramps and full-support swings.
3605 Brushy Creek Road, Greer, SC
The newly-renovated Century Park features the fairytale-themed Benson Automotive Kids Planet. Kids Planet is located in the shade and sun and includes:
- Two fence-enclosed age-appropriate play areas
- Misting play area
- Musical activity space
- Hillside slides
- A ground-level trampoline
- Special needs child/parent swing
- Sno Hut Shaved Ice concession stand
Century Park also offers:
- Paved walking trail, picnic shelters, baseball diamonds, frisbee golf
- Free parking lot
400 Scottswood Road, Taylors, SC
Home to the Greenville County Parks & Rec office, you will find a fully-accessible, sunny playground beside a preschool playground and lots of swings at the entrance off Old Spartanburg. If you go in the Scottswood entrance, you’ll find an enclosed, sunny playground with swings, a sandbox, and a grassy space. With a dog park, tennis courts, paved trail, and even an ice rink and bounce house inside, you will find something for everyone to love.
- Bounce house, ice rink, paved trail, dog park, tennis courts, grassy space
- Fully accessible, enclosed preschool playgrounds in the sun
- Free parking lot
Simpsonville City Park
198 Park Drive, Simpsonville, SC
With an enclosed playground for everyone, frisbee golf, fitness trail and even a dog park, you’ll want to get to this park soon.
- Zip line, dog park, frisbee golf course, bench swings, paved trail
- Accessible, enclosed playground in the sun
- ADA inclusive equipment
- Free parking lot
211 Fowler Circle, Greenville, SC
Sunset Park is a fully-accessible park featuring an enclosed, accessible playground, another playground in the woods, and even a walking trail.
- Basketball, baseball, soccer, picnic shelters, walking trail
- Enclosed and fully-accessible playground in the sun, shady playground
- Free parking lot
Do you know of something spectacular that needs to be included? Just let us know in the comments!