Sports

Scotch Plains Fanwood Soccer Association Offers Special Needs Program

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Chris DeMaria, president of Scotch Plains Fanwood Soccer Association Credits: John Mooney
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SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ – For the third consecutive year, the Scotch Plains Fanwood Soccer Association (SPFSA) will team up with Intensive Therapeutics to provide a league for children on the autism spectrum.

The fall season is just one of three programs available, with an indoor season taking place in the winter, and another outdoor season during the spring. Each season runs for eight weeks.

Since the two organizations banded together, they have noticed more and more athletes returning to the program.

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“Parents will often say, ‘My kid never asks to go back to any events, but the one thing they will ask about is playing soccer,’” said SPFSA President Chris DeMaria. “The children are enthused, engaged, and looking forward to meeting with their peer mentors.”

With a large volunteer staff, the program is an opportunity for the mentors to learn just as much as the players.

“The volunteer experience is equally as important with the impact they can make on a child just by helping them,” DeMaria said. “We fill up very rapidly and have had so many volunteer requests that we have had to turn people down.”

The programs are available for children with special needs ages 4-6, 7-10, and 11-14 with potential to join the SPFSA’s House Program. It is open to families from surrounding areas as well.

Intensive Therapeutics, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit, charitable organization that provides group and individual, occupational therapy services to children with special needs.

For more information or to sign up for this fall season, contact Intensive Therapeutics at (973) 771-1582 or at 274 South Avenue in Fanwood.

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