“Besides Dreams and Wings and tree climbing, our DMUM kid has also participated in groups over the years at Beaumont that receive funding from Dance Marathon, including Little Athletes, Dance, Handwriting, Eye Spy and many more. These groups are great for all kids in pediatric rehab. It gives them a chance to have fun and do a typical activity that is outside of their usual therapy. A child with special needs spends a lot of time in structured therapy and these groups give them a chance to just be a kid. These programs impact kids for years to come.”
--A DMUM parent
The families and therapies that Dance Marathon makes possible to them, are the cornerstone of our entire organization. The incredible progress made during these therapies is one of the main reasons our entire student network fundraises throughout the year and stands for 24 hours. Watch your child beat the odds and conquer their greatest obstacles while interacting with our therapists and DMUM volunteers at sports club, camp, tree climbing, and yoga to name just a few.
Parents and their children join our therapists and student volunteers for a monthly speech therapy group targeted towards children who use Speech Generating Devices, helping them to communicate with their community. Past events have included a scavenger hunt through downtown Ann Arbor, sharing stories and reading books at Ann Arbor’s Downtown Library, and visiting Zingerman’s to learn how bread is made.
Note: Talk Around Town is open to all children with speech generating devices.
These therapies are designed to help children with varying special needs combine their therapy goals with all the fun of the pool and special attention given by therapists and student volunteers! Behind the scenes of splashes and smiles, physical therapists have structured and designed activities to encourage water safety as well as social skills in a group setting.
Note: Participation is only by invite from Briarwood Milestones (see Resources page for contact information).
Work with an art therapist who spends one-on-one time with children as they engage with the arts, from theater to crafting, to help master skills such as prolonged focus and fine motor coordination.
Note: This therapy is open to children with special needs, however please inquire about age requirement as this changes for the group seasonally.
Whether it’s the 1985 or 2025, we believe climbing a tree is an exciting part of any childhood, and should be an experience available to everyone. That’s why DMUM has partnered with Arborview to use basic high-ropes course material that allows children with any and all physical disabilities to climb a tree. This event is a popular therapy that highlights your child’s strength to pull themselves up to new heights, and serves as just one small example of how these children are able to accomplish what they previously thought impossible through determination and perseverance.
Note: Tree climbing is open to all children with special needs over five years old.
Dance Marathon makes the summer camp experience possible for children with special needs, as Milestones creates a string of fun therapies organized like a week-long day camp with DMUM volunteers in a small group environment. Therapies allow the children to have fun in the sun, while still targeting each child’s goals in physical, behavioral, speech, art, etc. therapies and simultaneously encouraging social interaction and collaboration. Activities have even included fishing, making T-shirts, and learning culinary skills!
Note: Camp is open to children ages 4-12 and participation is available after receiving screening from a Milestones or PRC therapist (see Resources page for contact information).
Dance Marathon brings therapists, DMUM students, and of course the children together at Belmark Lanes to provide kids, all across great range of ability, an opportunity for positive social interaction, healthy leisure participation, and community integration.
Note: Bowling is open to all children with special needs!
The Dance Marathon kids come to wind-down and enhance their emotional and physical well-being thanks to our therapists who pair stories of positive self-reflection with the calming yoga poses, which augments flexibility and posture.
Note: This therapy is open with a Milestone or PRC therapist’s recommendation (see Resources page for contact information).
Sports club allows kids of all ability levels play on various sports teams in a safe and supportive environment with therapists that understand their needs! Not only does this promote skills learned through collaboration, focus, and cooperation, but Sports Club also helps each individual work on their physical therapy goals. No sports experience necessary!
Note: Sports Club is open to all children provided they are screened by a Milestones or PRC therapist (see Resources page for contact information).
Dance Marathon is For The Kids--and really for all the kids. We recognize teenagers may have different goals than our younger members, and this summer neurological rehabilitation program strives to achieve those goals. Therapists focus on various activities ranging from board games and culinary projects, to expression and self-reflection through music. Collaboration and social integration is also encouraged via group projects.
Note: Teen Group participation is only achieved through invite from Briarwood Milestones or PRC (see Resources page for contact information).
Work with Sensei Dave and his team of professionals, as kids of all capabilities have fun learning self defense. Everyone has a great time while benefiting from lessons in coordination, responsibility, control, and concentration that are closely associated with martial arts.
Note: This therapy is open to all children with special needs.
Becky McVey, 734-232-3334, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcy Cameron, 248-655-5823, email@example.com
See additional resources here that are also related to Dance Marathon’s cause.