Over the past year, the Verona Recreation Department’s Office for Special Needs has created a variety of activities geared to residents with differing physical and mental abilities. On March 21, it will kick off what it hopes will become a monthly game night for neurodivergent and neurotypical teens and young adults.
According to Meghan Henderson, a Verona resident who has volunteered to lead the group, it will meet at the Verona Community Center on the third Tuesday of every month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Participants can get involved in games, music, arts and crafts and more, with everything geared to developing effective communication and socialization skills. The Young Adult Social Group is open to residents ages 16 to 25, and families can register for it through the Rec Department’s Community Pass system. Henderson says the program is free, but there may be a nominal charge in the future if participants decide that they want to order pizza.
Henderson says the Verona group will be modeled on the Friendship Circle in Livingston, a friendship group for individuals with special needs. “I feel this is a population that, if not doing a club, band or a sport, may not have a group of friends,” she says. “Additionally, it’s good for neurotypical and neurodivergent young adults to learn from each other.” Henderson says that the group will be co-led by a college student studying special education.