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The Fair Chance Program

The Fair Chance for Special Needs Program is the first of its kind in the nation. We provide after-school care for special needs children in San Ramon, California. Many programs like these are available for children without developmental issues, but none are available that cater specifically to children with special needs. We are passionate about building and nurturing a relationship with every single individual.

Communication Skills

Many of our students with special needs struggle to communicate because they experience difficulties maintaining the topic of discussion, remembering and learning from past experiences, easily responding to reactions from peers, and interpreting nonverbal cues and body language. We teach our students appropriate communication skills. Some of the things that we focus on during communication-skills training include:

Starting a Conversation | Maintaining Appropriate Topics of Conversation | Using the Right Tone of Voice & Volume Control | Participating in Reciprocal Conversation | Paying Attention & Listening Skills | Responding Appropriately to Questions | Waiting Your Turn to Speak | Staying on Topic | Ending a Conversation

Kid Studying
Teacher and Students

Social Skills

Some children and adults with special needs struggle in social interactions. These difficulties may be influenced by deficits in self-regulation, processing, analysis of spatial information, and cognitive flexibility.  To be successful within social exchanges, one needs to be able to accurately decipher both verbal and nonverbal cues.  Often these are subtle, fleeting signals that require one to process, and rapidly interpret, presented information in order to formulate a response.  In addition, one must understand the underlying ''rules'' that govern responses in social situations.

Sharing Space | Sharing Materials | Waiting | Taking Turns | Trying New Things | Respecting the Ideas of Others | Participating with Others | Choosing Friends

Math, Money, & Personal Finance

Cultivating a sense of independence in growing teenagers begins with giving them the tools necessary for success. In our after-school sessions, we teach skills with important applications for when they are finished with school. These lessons include:

Making Decisions | Making Money | Budgeting Your Money | Shopping Wisely | Living on Your Own | Banking Services | Understanding Credit | Cars & Loans | Protecting Your Money | Savings & Investing


Sports and Recreation

Sports and Recreation

Students with special needs need opportunities to be out and about just as their peers do. Recreation gives them much-needed exercise and a view into the real world. They learn to work as a team, the significance of being a team player, and what sportsman and competition is really all about. It also gives their families the opportunity of being part of the community.
At FairChance, we will offer enriching sports & recreational activities on a daily basis.

Stretching | Walking | Using the Right | Running | Line dancing | Team sports

Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts
Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscle movements in such areas as the fingers and hands. These movements often operate in coordination with the eyes. Students with special needs often present deficits with fine motor skills. They  may have delays when learning to color, paint, use scissors, write, fasten clothing, hold utensils, and to complete activities that require left to right task orientation. At FairChance, we will offer meaningful fine motor skill including arts and crafts activities on a regular basis.

Music & Dance
Music and dance have been proven scientifically to be therapeutic for students with special needs, particularly for those on the autism spectrum. These skills will help them participate in social and community events, build confidence, teach them age appropriate social skills, and lasting friendships. At FairChance, we will offer opportunities for all social and entertainment skills.

Computer & Technology

Many students with special needs are visual thinkers. They think in pictures instead of language. Thoughts are like videotapes running in their imagination. Pictures are their first language, and words are their second language. As concrete visual thinkers, people with autism process information well when they can look at a picture or words to help them visualize information.

Technology makes visual images more accessible. Computer graphics capture and maintain the attention of people with autism. Nonverbal children and adults will find it easier to associate words with pictures if they see the printed word and a picture together. The world-wide web can give us unlimited access to pictures and words.

Some students with special needs and autism will learn reading more easily with phonics (auditory), and others will learn best by memorizing whole words (visual). Voice output software helps with auditory reinforcement and computer graphics help students visualize what they’re learning. Some people with autism have problems remembering sequences to carry out tasks.

Technology can reduce the number of steps required for completion of certain tasks. Often people with autism have difficulty with fine motor skills. Technology helps reduce the frustration involved with hand writing or drawing. Using a keyboard or touch screen reduces difficulty and helps students enjoy learning. Some nonverbal children and adults are mono-channel and cannot process visual and auditory input at the same time. Their immature nervous system is not able to process simultaneous visual and auditory input and so they should be given either a visual task or an auditory task.

At Fair Chance, we believe that by using technology, they can gradually increase their ability or save their work to proceed step by step and can even alternate between visual and auditory input.

Some children and adults have sound sensitivity and are able to respond best with low whisper sounds. Using computers we can easily download appropriate voice frequencies and tailor tools to individual needs. Some autistic individuals do not use speech for communication. Language learning can be taught if language exercises promote communication. They can use technology to produce words and learn the cause and effect of using appropriate speech. Autism may make verbal communication difficult, technology can increase communication by helping someone express themselves more fluently or by helping them learn how to express themselves. Technology also increases communication by allowing us to communicate using the sensory skills someone with autism prefers (e.g. using symbols and pictures, video email, etc.

Self Advocacy and Self Esteem

Self-Advocacy is learning how to speak up for oneself, making own decisions about one's life, learning pertinent information that will be valuable in ones future life. At FairChance, we believe that being your own advocate means that you ask for what you need while respecting the needs of others. For example, if you are at a store and a clerk ignores you, you are able to ask in a polite way to be served. Self-advocacy helps you Obtain

*What you need:
• Make your own choices       • Learn to say no without feeling guilty       • Express disagreement respectfully

Cooking & Culinary Arts

Learning basic life skills, like cooking, is essential to functioning better as an adult and becoming independent. Here are six steps and helpful hints to teaching life skills cooking.

Kitchen set up | Select the recipe | Read the recipe | Gather your ingredients & tools | Cooking Directions | Consistent repetitive routine

The recipe for success when teaching cooking includes consistency, repetition and patience — with a large dash of humor.