This list of autism-friendly events and resources throughout the Salt Lake City region is a work in progress. Please refer to it often as we will be adding information as we find it. See something not on our list? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! CLICK ON LINKS IN PURPLE OR BLUE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT EACH LISTING. (Don’t know why links are in two colors; all are links.)
Activities, Events, and Lessons
CreATE Cooking Classes. 90-minute drop-off experience to learn skills for life. Mix, chop, measure and taste fun foods and take home a sampling of what you’ve created! Special needs students welcome, ABA therapy trained. Contact them at email@example.com for more information.
Discovery Gateway Museum, Autism Afternoon, is offered monthly at a reduced admissions fee. To help minimize sensory issues for our families, DG turns the lights down and reduces noise in the museum. A limited number of noise-cancelling headphones are available upon request. The museum also feature an autism room, where visitors can learn more about ASD.
Hoofbeats to Healing, located in Saratoga Springs and Bountiful, provides therapeutic horseback riding lessons.
Momentum Climbing is an inclusive community. Locations in Sandy, Millcreek, and Lehi. It is our goal that each child in our programs has a successful and healthy experience–socially, emotionally, and physically. If your child has assistance needs, please contact the Youth Program Manager at the location you plan to attend to let our staff know before your participant’s first day so we can help ensure their success. We suggest trying out climbing before committing to a full seasonal session.
SafeSplash Swim School has two locations: Sugarhouse and Sandy. They offer lessons to adults and children in small group or private settings. Special-needs classes are available.
The WAIRhouse Trampoline Park features a Can Do Club for kids with special needs.
Utah’s Hogle Zoo. Zoo Just for You is a program for educators of special-needs children. Hogle Zoo also provides classes onsite for special-needs children, with an accompanying parent/caregiver.
Educational and Community Resources
Autism and Behavioral Intervention is located in Draper and provides intensive one-on-one ABA therapy, customized to a child’s needs.
Davis School District, Early Childhood Program. The program provides preschool education for children 3-5 years of age on or before September 1. It is a tuition-based program with classes focusing on developmentally appropriate practices using We Can! curriculum.
Head Start. Under the direction of Utah Community Action, Head Start offers a FREE PRESCHOOL program:3 1/2 hour days; full-day classes in limited service area for low cost; morning or afternoon sessions, 2 meals/day, 4 days/week. 70 locations throughout Salt Lake and Tooele Counties.
Help Me Grow Utah is a resource and information line to help parents with their parenting questions and to provide child development information. We provide you with information you can use at home and links to community resources wherever you live in Utah.
ScenicView Academy in Provo offers adults on the spectrum opportunities to pursue various educational paths, from vocational to college-bound, and careers.
Spectrum Academy North Salt Lake and Spectrum Academy Pleasant Grove. Both campuses (NSL and PG) offer tuition-free elementary and secondary schooling for students with high-functioning autism. Both are charter schools with lottery-based admissions. Check their website for lottery deadlines. Winter deadline is usually February.
Utah Autism Academy is a nonprofit organization, with locations in Midvale, Orem, and St. George.
Autism Council of Utah is an independent council working to foster collaboration, communication, and learning among families and agencies. Our aim is to promote access to resources and responsible information for individuals of all ages who have, or are affected by autism, or related conditions.
Art Access. We offer art programming for adults and children who have disabilities or limited access to the arts. Programs include rotating exhibitions, arts workshops, school art programs, Kindred Spirits workshops for children, theatre arts, etc.
Big Maks, a support group for moms with ASD kids. They have local representatives in several counties in Utah and meet monthly for lunch at various locations.
CSHCN: http://health.utah.gov/cshcn/. The mission of CSHCN is to assure quality health care and related services for children and youth with special needs and their families throughout the State of Utah.
Sahara Cares Foundation. Established in 2002, Sahara Cares is a community leader that focuses on programs and projects that involve children at risk. These can be children who are disadvantaged, seriously ill and/or from a financially challenged family who otherwise could not participate in typical childhood activities. They organize an Autism Carnival every August at the Legacy Events Center, and their website offers helpful tips for autism and other special needs.
Special Needs Resources Swap, is a Facebook group created by our family at Go Beyond Autism. We wanted to spread the word about items/resources that families need or no longer need and are willing to donate, swap, or sell.
Utah After School Network: http://utahafterschool.org/program-resources/ost-topics/special-needs-and-inclusion. Information and answers frequently asked questions about the inclusion of children with special needs in after-school care and summer and recreation programs, including information about relevant laws, tools, and strategies.
Utah Autism Coalition is a political organization found on Facebook.
Utah Autism Give: http://www.utahautismgive.org/. Financial assistance for treatment costs for families facing autism spectrum disorders. This assistance is paid directly to the provider, or to pay for needed equipment or services.
Utah Autism Moms is a Facebook group where you can post questions and ideas to help you find possible solutions.
Utah Dept of Human Services: dspd.utah.gov. We serve children and adults who have intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, brain injuries, and autism.
Utah Parent Center offers workshops, training, and support. The mission of the Utah Parent Center (UPC or Center) is to help parents help their children, youth and young adults with all disabilities to live included, productive lives as members of the community.
Village of Love: http://www.villageoflove.org/resources.html Parents helping parents to find area resources.
Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic, through the University of Utah, offers a variety of services, from assessments to continuum care for those on the spectrum.
Arrowhead Stables. Equine therapy. Arrowhead Stables offers riding lessons and equine-assisted therapy to children and adolescents in the Greater Salt Lake region. We provide individual and group sessions for kids struggling with autism-related issues, anxiety, depression, and trauma. This is a perfect opportunity If your child enjoys being around animals, especially horses, or if your child needs help, but doesn’t invest in traditional talk therapy. Arrowhead also offers special summer programs!
Just for Kids. We specialize in working with kids with Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism, and Developmental Delay. “Occupation” refers to what occupies a child’s time. This includes many things including self care (getting dressed, bathed, feeding, sleeping, toileting, home skills), behavior/sensory regulation, coping skills, school skills, transitions, gross motor, fine motor, handwriting, play skills, coordination, strengthening Parent Education, and more. In addition to working one on one with kids we offer Social Skills Classes in a variety of topics, writing classes, fine motor classes, craft classes, summer field trips. We are specialists and certified in Sensory Integration, Therapeutic Listening, SOS approach to Feeding, Handwriting Without Tears, and more.
Lighthouse Counseling Services. We offer Play Therapy for the young and young at heart. We also offer Sandtray Therapy and EMDR for all your mental health needs. We see clients with a variety of issues and struggles. Individuals, couples, and families are all welcome.
Matt’s Place is a non-profit center that assists individuals ages 3-21 with social and behavioral struggles on the autism spectrum.
Neurobehavioral Center for Growth, located in Bountiful and Layton. Specialize in diagnoses, therapy, and learning centers. We have personally used their services and found them to be helpful. We are not compensated in any way for our comment about them.
Salt Lake Speech and Language. We are a private speech clinic, based out of Salt Lake City. We have therapists who have worked with a variety of clients in various settings. This experience enables our therapists to work with various backgrounds and treat a wide range of disorders. We offer traditional on-site sessions, as well as the flexibility of virtual therapy.
LDS Disabilities. Covers all special needs, but autism is frequently addressed. Not necessarily specific to Utah but obviously intented for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though church membership is not required.
Special Needs Resource Swap, Go Beyond Autism is the admin for this group. Online place to swap, sell, give items for those with special needs. Also a message board for passing along general information.
Utah Kids Parent Forum. A group for all special needs, but there are often posts regarding autism-related items.
Blog owner and author Kerry Smith is also the SLC editor for KidsOutAndAbout.com, which features a resource list for special needs. She also posts special needs events and those related to autism on the site’s community calendar.