Events

Muddy Warrior Challenge

Terrain and obstacle course race and fun run!

This event has been postponed to a future date. We will update this web page as soon as the new date has been set. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Join us on Saturday, August 28, 2021, as we run the race for autism, combining the excitement of running, obstacles, and mud all for a great cause. Whether you have a competitive nature or just want to come for the fun we have the perfect challenge for adults and kids alike. Even if that means choosing our Stay in the Bed option. This family-oriented event will end with a Victory Celebration for all ages that you do not want to miss.

Entry fee includes obstacles, a super comfy event t-shirt made for all day comfort, Top 3 Finishers in each category recognized, and the chance to rehydrate and refuel during the Victory Celebration. Sponsorship opportunities are available and tax-deductible.

Event Details

The event will be at Graham Creek Nature Preserve. Graham Creek Nature Preserve is approximately 500 acres of natural habitat in Foley, Alabama and soon to be the location for the Muddy Warrior Challenge benefiting the American Autism & Rehabilitation Foundation. Our 501(c)(3) is dedicated to supporting the resources and comprehensive therapies offered at our center as well as other non-profit organizations that provide hope and healing for our local special needs community.

August 28th, 2021
Check-In & Pep Rally starts @ 7:30
Graham Creek Nature Preserve Pavilion
23030 Wolf Bay Drive
Foley, AL 36535

This event has been postponed to a future date. We will update this web page as soon as the new date has been set. We apologize for any inconvenience.


OTHER EVENTS

AARF partners with local businesses and community volunteers to hold fun events designed for special needs children and their families. Our annual events include a Sensory-Friendly Trick-or-Treat and a Sensory-Friendly Photo with Santa.

Sensory Friendly Trick-or-Treat

Every October, the American Autism and Rehabilitation Foundation hosts a Sensory-Friendly Trick-or-Treat Event. This event allows us to serve families with special needs in our community who feel that their child's unique differences prevent them from participating in fall festivals or other trick or treating events.

Children in Baldwin and Mobile County are invited to the American Autism & Rehabilitation Center (AARC) facility for trick-or-treating. Upon arrival, families create a memory with a festive family portrait photographed by our volunteers. Then they are directed to follow a set route through the facility and each child receives candy or trinkets at every stop along the way. This set-up is ideal for families whose children tend to elope or become overwhelmed easily and provides parents with a secure and safe place to take their children with special needs. Costumes are welcome but not required in hope that every child with sensory-processing difficulties will feel included. Our volunteers, many of who are also AARC employees, decorate all our doors in the facility and love participating and dressing up in friendly costumes. It is a wonderful evening that allows all children to join in an event that many families without children with special needs take for granted.

Sensory-Friendly Photo Session with Santa

A trip to a shopping mall to visit with Santa is a Christmas tradition for many families. Children eagerly share their Christmas lists with the jolly man in the red suit, and parents cherish the Santa photographs which help to preserve a happy memory for years to come. However, visiting Santa at a noisy, crowded mall with bright colors, blaring holiday music and a long wait in line can be overwhelming for children with special needs, especially those with sensory issues who are sensitive to excessive stimuli. That’s why AARF launched their Sensory-Friendly Photo Session with Santa program for the special needs patients at AARC. This event provides a chance for these precious children to have a true holiday experience like that of their peers. We provide a calm and quiet space with dimmed down lights and no loud music or holiday crowds with a Santa who understands special needs children. There are no long lines to endure while waiting for Santa as all of our meeting times are scheduled by reservations in advance. By accommodating their needs, we give families an opportunity to get out, have some holiday fun and create treasured memories.

Kids Yoga Class

AARF volunteers offer therapeutic yoga classes monthly on the AARC campus for special needs children and their parents. Our volunteer instructors, AARC Directors Jennifer Crews (Physical Therapy) and Julie Mohler (Occupational Therapy) received their kids yoga certification through Kidding Around Yoga and lead a monthly yoga class. Their class is a fusion of traditional Kidding Around Yoga with a heavy focus on the therapeutic aspects of yoga.

Yoga helps kids to:

  • Develop body awareness
  • Learn how to use their bodies in a healthy way
  • Manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movement
  • Build concentration
  • Increase their confidence and positive self-image
  • Feel part of a healthy, non-competitive group
  • Have an alternative to tuning out through constant attachment to electronic devices

Kidding Around Yoga utilizes yoga poses tucked into partner yoga, games and activities, stories, original music and more. Each class has a new theme such as Star Wars, Camping, Zoo Animals, and Superheroes to add extra excitement, creativity, and fun. Parents and children sing, dance, salute the sun jog, limbo, and sail, ultimately leading to an end goal of deep relaxation and quiet time. Although this is a parent and child class, we have volunteers to work with the students if a parent would prefer to sit out and watch versus participate.

The class is open to the community and we welcome 10 participants per class. (please indicate when signing up if you would like a volunteer for your child). Use this is the link to sign up for yoga class: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080b4daba82ba0f49-kids5 Cost: All of our classes are offered for free to families who cannot afford to pay. For those who wish to help support AARF’s 501(c)(3) non-profit yoga program, a “love offering” of $5-$15 per class is suggested.

Summer Camps