FANWOOD, NJ – Intensive Therapeutics, non-profit charitable organization that provides group and individual occupational therapy services to children with special needs in Fanwood and West Caldwell, recently incorporated a 6-week tennis program to meet the needs of the community.
One year ago, Nirmit Damania, currently a junior on the Scotch Plains Fanwood High School tennis team, collaborated with Intensive Therapeutics to create a tennis program for children with special needs. Nirmit, who has volunteered for a special needs tennis program in the past, recognized a need for a similar program within his own community.
Following the same model as existing sports and recreation programs at Intensive Therapeutics, peer mentors from the Scotch Plains/Fanwood High School Tennis team greatly contributed to the success of the program. Volunteers included: Brian Huang, Brandon Glickstein, Ben Fox, Declan Cassidy and Ben Kuperschmid, who dedicated their time every Sunday to contribute their knowledge of the sport. Occupational therapists, who are familiar with the social and motor challenges relevant to many children with special needs, helped oversee the program to meet the individual needs of each child.
Prior to the start of the program, a free mandatory screening was provided to meet families, volunteers and answer any necessary questions. Sessions ran for 6-weeks on Sunday mornings and addressed the basic tennis skills required to play the sport as well as the social skills needed to be apart of a team. Practices took place at the courts in Forest Road Park in Fanwood. Children with special needs ages ranged from 5-16 years old.
The pilot project was a huge success thanks to Nirmit and the SPFHS volunteer tennis players. At the conclusion of this 6-week program, families, children and volunteers greatly expressed the desire for continuation of tennis throughout the year. Intensive Therapeutics was proud to begin this collaboration and plans to continue to incorporate it in future seasons. Existing programs include youth soccer, basketball, bike riding and teen social nights.
For more information or to sign up for future programs, contact Intensive Therapeutics at (973)-771-1582 or at 274 South Ave, Fanwood.