Community Programs

Many organizations are happy to make accommodations for children on the autism spectrum, or have recreational programs that facilitate social and emotional development. Here are a few that we have found helpful:

Leisure in Fun Environments (L.I.F.E. Program at the Rehabilitation Centre for Children)

The goal of the L.I.F.E. program is to provide programming that gives children with physical disabilities or special needs more opportunities to engage in leisure and recreation, to make new friends and, most of all, to have fun!
  • Music Therapy
  • After-School Cooking Clubs
  • Saturday Cooking Clubs
  • Saturday Night For Teens
  • Fall Festival
  • Test-Drive A Bike Days
  • Bowling Days
  • Swim DaysFor more information about these programs, please contact:
    Carol Kehler at (204) 258-6538 or by email at
    Maya Kirstein at (204) 258-6538
    To register, or to be added to the notification list, please contact Yvonne at (204) 258-6500.

HALE Autism

HALE stands for “Help Autism Live Everywhere,” and this organization offers services for children, youth and young adults in Selkirk and Winnipeg, including:

  • social skills groups
  • LEGO social skills groups
  • tutoring
  • seminars to increase understanding of people with autism

City of Winnipeg Leisure Programs

The city offers a variety of leisure activities in Winnipeg, some of which are specifically for children and adults with disabilities, and many that are of general interest.

Inspire Community Outreach

Inspire Community Outreach Inc. is an incorporated non-profit social services agency working with youth in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the hopes that they will find their passion and create connections that will last a lifetime. Programming varies from drop-in, to 6-10 week sessions.  Programs include mindfulness training, creative expression (including art, poetry, and music), cooking/nutrition, physical activity, and other positive coping strategies.


OHEYS Autism Programs

OHEYS supports recreation, health and social skill development for kids and teens on the autism spectrum.  They have a very popular summer camp program, as well as other programs through the year such as swimming and a games club.

Making Waves

Making Waves Winnipeg is a not-for-profit student initiative providing affordable and accessible one-on-one swimming instruction to children with special needs.  The program operates on Saturday evenings at two pools in Winnipeg, and now in Brandon as well.

City of Winnipeg Red Cross Learn to Swim Programs

People with disabilities classes are available for individuals with developmental, cognitive and/ or physical disabilities. These classes focus on developing sound water safety skills. They are designed to follow Red Cross Swim programs and provide an opportunity for supervised water activities.

Special Olympics Manitoba

Enriching the lives of Manitobans with an intellectual disability through active participation in sport.

Sky Zone Winnipeg Sensory Night

On the third Monday evening every month, Sky Zone turns down the lights and offers a quieter, toned-down jumping experience for those with special needs.

Rady Jewish Community Centre

B100 – 123 Doncaster St. Winnipeg

Phone: (204) 477-7510

A variety of sports, recreation and fitness programs. A special needs coordinator supports inclusion of children with special needs in all programs. They also offer a gym night for kids with ASD.

Calm ‘n Sense Yoga for Kids

Phone: (204) 284-0250

Classes for children, newborns to teens.
The instructor is also a speech-language pathologist who works with children with autism.

Gymkids Gymnastics Centre

This business runs a “Flippin for Autism” program in the summer for children of any age.

Able Sail Manitoba

Disabled Sail Manitoba operates at Fort Whyte Alive provides sailing opportunities to Manitobans regardless of ability, age or economic means and has three main programs – opportunity to book sailing sessions (companion provided for support), a Learn-to-Sail accredited course for those who would like to develop their capabilities, and a race night for those interested in competitive sailing.

I Can Shine Bike Camp

Phone:  (204) 471-3569

For children at least 8 years old and with a disability, this 5-day bike program offers to help your family member learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle independently.  It has run in early July for the last two years at the East End Arena in Winnipeg.


“I Can Pretend”: Drama For Children On The Autism Spectrum

Tuxedo Community Centre, 368 Southport Boulevard, Winnipeg

I Can Pretend! teaches children with autism how to play with peers and form relationships, something that children with ASD typically struggle with. Through drama, younger children learn imaginative play skills and older children hone social skills.

Art Among Friends

Art Among Friends is a visual arts program facilitated by Community Living Winnipeg for youth aged 13 and up with and without disabilities who are interested in attending inclusive classes.  You can view a CBC interview about it here.

Arts Junktion

ArtsJunktion MB is a community-based, charitable organization committed to redistributing reusable materials.

They rescue quality materials from businesses and private donors that would otherwise be sent to the  landfill. These materials (including a variety of paper, end rolls, buttons, tools…) are sorted and displayed at their depot for all to browse and take at no charge. Worth taking a look.

They also offer an interesting assortment of workshops for teens and adults…pictures from previous workshops are displayed on the website.

 Music Therapy

The Music Therapy Association of Manitoba is a not-for-profit organization and a provincial chapter of the Canadian Association of Music Therapy.  Explore the site to learn the benefits of music therapy, where music therapy services are being provided in Manitoba, how to find a music therapist and much more!

The Rehabilitation Centre for Children has community Preschool Music Therapy groups run throughout the year, at very affordable rates.

The Community School of Music & the Arts at the Canadian Mennonite University offers a preschool music therapy group.

Cafe Music offers music lessons and music therapy for people of all abilities.

Erin Koop (accredited music therapist) has a website with information and links to interesting videos and articles about Music Therapy.

Prelude Music, a studio on Corydon Avenue, offers individual early intervention sessions.

Bang A Beat Family-Centred Therapies offers music therapy in a variety of group and individual formats.


Access 2 Entertainment

The Access 2 Entertainment Card provides persons with a disability to receive either free admission or a significant discount for their support person at member movie theatres and attractions across Canada.

Red River Exhibition

Get free passes for you and your child with ASD for a special day with fewer crowds.  Ask Autism Society of Manitoba or your CSS worker.

Social Support

 Autism Manitoba: For Parents and Caregivers

This is a Facebook group connecting parents and family members of people with autism in Manitoba.  It’s closed, which means you have to join to see any of the posts or comments.  Join for discussion, problem-solving, links to community resources, and coffee or play outings.  Click here to see the entry page.

PACE (Parents of Autistic Children Everywhere)

PACE offers a variety of recreational activities for families of children with autism.  They also host a yearly autism walk.


Animal Assisted Learning

Manitoba Riding for the Disabled Association (MRDA)

145 Pacific Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3B 2Z6

Phone: (204) 925.5905 

The Manitoba Riding for the Disabled Association provides a therapeutic riding program for children with disabilities. Ages 6 to 12.

 Lead Rope to Learning

Phone:  (204) 509-6643
Lead Rope to Learning Facebook page.

Equine Assisted Learning strives to give individuals a tool box of skills to be used in daily life.   Horses are social animals, making them effective teachers of social skills in a structured setting.  The goal is to provide an opportunity for learning to take place in a safe and engaging learning environment.  Exercise outcomes revolve around respect, trust, clear communication, responsibility, teamwork, and cooperation.  The result?  Fun, interactive, and hands on learning!


We’re happy to add additional programs as we are made aware of them! Contact us if you’ve had a good experience.