by Chris Williams | Jul 07, 2015

Activities Issue: Summer Fun for Everyone

Our July issue of “Thrive” is dedicated to summer fun for our families.

Summer is a great time to be active. Local groups, nonprofits and even cities run events, classes and games for kids. Your child has plenty of opportunities to have summer fun, be social, & participate in a community.

In our main article right here, we’re talking about sports. You’ll find storytime events & parks to play in afterward. We hope one or more of these activities helps you & your child enjoy some summer fun!


E-Sports Soccer Teams

E-Sports Soccer is an all-volunteer collective of youth soccer teams. Special-needs and neurotypical children, aged 5 and up, play soccer together. They even have a “Rising Stars” group for 3- and 4-year-olds to play too!

E-Sports Soccer Website

E-Sports started their soccer program in Foster City in 2000. Now they operate in 10 Bay Area cities with 3 sports to choose from (E-Soccer, E-Karate, E-Hoops). According to the website, E-Fitness is coming soon.

We like the E-Soccer teams because they’re group sports. The players are active, being social with one another, & making friends.

You’ll find E-Soccer Teams in: San Francisco, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hayward, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Sunnyvale, and Walnut Creek.
(Note: Some of these teams may have closed registrations by now.)

E-Soccer is free of charge to attend (donations accepted for equipment). Parents and volunteers work together to make the experience fun for all the kids.

If you don’t have an E-Soccer team near you…start one of your own! Contact E-Soccer to ask about starting up a team in your area.

Little League Challenger Division

Maybe your child likes baseball more? If so, they can join the Little League!

The Little League Challenger Division was established in 1989, for boys and girls ages 4-18 with physical and mental challenges. In a Challenger game, every player gets a chance to bat. It’s a highly-supported way for kids to play a summer sport and make friends.

About the Challenger Division –

We asked the Challenger Division which leagues offer Challenger programs in our area. Here’s what they said:
“Thank you for your interest in the Challenger program. Below is a list of the closest leagues to your location that offer Challenger. Please feel free to contact them at your convenience.”

Almaden Little League
San Jose, CA
Contact: Debbie Osborn
(408) 460-1699

Branham Hills Little League
San Jose, CA
Contact: Marie Kozacek
(408) 499-5595

Cambrian Park Little League
San Jose, CA
Contact: Rob Griffin
(408) 423-2086

The Cambrian Park Little League begins its Spring 2016 Challenger registrations in November. The other Leagues will open Challenger registration toward the end of the year, also for the Spring 2016 season. Mark your calendars.

Call or email your neighborhood league (using the above information) to ask about signing up.

Scouting Troops for Kids with Special Needs and Disabilities

If you’re interested in more of a year-round activity, consider the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. Both groups have scouting units who welcome kids with autism or other developmental delays.

Locally, we know of these three:

You’ll find a complete list for the state here: California Autism Friendly Scouting Unit Locator

All of these scouting units follow a set of rules for working with special needs children. Many units have a Special Needs Coordinator or Autism Support Specialist available.

Contact the troop nearest you to ask about open membership slots.

More Activities Always Coming Up

If your child isn’t ready for this sort of summer activity yet, please save this email for next year.

Do you know a summer sport we didn’t list, or which is coming soon? Please share it with us, at! The more active children are, the more they grow & thrive.

Have a fun & active summer! We’ll see you next month.

Toddler Storytime at Campbell Library, Wednesdays at 10:30 AM

Our local libraries have many wonderful events for children of all ages. Every Wednesday morning the Campbell Library has “Toddler Storytime” for children ages 1-3. Bring your child for stories, music and social play!campbelllibrary

When: Every Wednesday, 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Where: The Campbell Library
77 Harrison Avenue, Campbell

Call (408) 866-1991 for more information.

Ask AIFA: What’s a Good Park for My Child in San Jose?

“Dear A is for Apple,
The Magical Bridge Playground looks great! But it’s in Palo Alto, and we live in San Jose. Is there a playground closer to home where I could take my child?”

Yes! There are several good parks in the San Jose area. Today we’ll talk about one: the Rotary Children’s Garden.


The Rotary Children’s Garden is located on Coleman Avenue, between Guadalupe Parkway & Walnut Street. It was created & is maintained by the Rotary Club of San Jose.

The playground is a beautiful open layout, fully enclosed with one entrance (for safety). Some of the features you’ll find include:

  • Soft padded ground coverings all around.
  • Several cement slides (They might look daunting, but they ride very smooth!)
  • Interactive art structures that kids can spin to make big insects move
  • Sensory sand play areas
  • Multiple rope-climb structures
  • Rock incline climbing structures
  • A wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round
  • Accessible Seesaw
  • Swings (There’s only one platform swing and chair swing though)

The Rotary Club made sure children of all needs could come & play here.

One important thing to remember: There aren’t many shaded areas on & around the playground. We talked with a park official, who said they are addressing the shade issue.

Just in case, make sure you bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Watch your child for signs of fatigue; with the summer heat upon us, staying cool & hydrated is extra-important at a playground.

Please Note: The water feature has been turned off due to the drought. However, the rest of the park is still open from 10am-6:30pm.

One of our supervisors went to the Children’s Garden and had this to say: “All in all, it’s a very nice new playground that will allow many children of all capabilities to play.”

You’ll find more details about the Rotary Children’s Garden at

Inside A is for Apple

New Salinas Location for ABA Therapy in Monterey County

A is for Apple is expanding! We’re opening a location in Salinas on August 1.july15inside-white

The Salinas location will act as a “hub” for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapists. It will allow us to bring ABA therapy services to families in the Monterey County area.

Please note: The Salinas office is for administrative purposes only. Monterey County ABA therapists will arrange sessions with you in your home. If your child enjoys coming to our San Jose therapy facility for on-site therapy, this arrangement will continue unchanged.

We expect to add Speech-Language and Occupational Therapy services in Salinas toward the end of the year.

If you live in Monterey County, or know someone who does, please contact us for local help.