FAQ’s for Advantage Kids’ Aceing Autism Program

What should my child wear for the clinic?
Athletic clothes and sneakers. Participants at outdoor locations should dress appropriately for the weather that day. We recommend hats and sunscreen in the hot weather.

Does my child need to bring a tennis racquet?
Racquets will be provided each week. However, it’s fine if your child prefers to bring his/her own.

Is this a drop-off program?
We prefer that parents plan to stay on site during their child’s clinic. Parents can watch from the viewing area in most locations. If for some reason you do need to leave the site, we ask that you leave a cell phone number where you can be reached.

Can I come out on court with my child?
We are a very flexible program. We welcome a parent’s presence on the court if you feel that your child is in need of added support and structure. We simply ask that you work with us to determine what is best for your child and keep in mind the experiences of the other children in the program.

Does my child need to be toilet-trained in order to attend?
No, it is not required. However, we do ask that you be responsible for assisting your child with any toileting needs that may come up during the course of a clinic.

My child has limited speech (Or none at all). Can my child still participate?
Absolutely. Please let us know if there are other forms of communication your child uses (i.e. signs, PECS, etc.) and we will do our best to accommodate his/her needs. We have had successful participation from children who use augmentative communication devices and welcome their use out on the court.

Does my child need to have an autism diagnosis to participate?
Not necessarily. We understand that it is often a lengthy process to get an actual diagnosis, particularly in younger children. Our focus continues to be on children with ASD, but we welcome children with other closely-related developmental conditions that may prevent them from accessing mainstream recreational activities. We will work with you to determine if our program is a good fit for your child.

What if my child needs to take a break?
Our program is very flexible and can be modified based on each child’s skill level and favorite activities. If at any time a child needs to take a break, he/she is allowed to do so. We do not provide snacks, but we do have water fountains at most locations.

My child’s friend is also participating in the program. Can they play on the same court?
Definitely tell us if there is a child you would like your child paired with on the court. We will honor these requests whenever possible and appropriate. Social connection is a very important program goal.

Are typical siblings allowed to participate?
Although we know siblings can sometimes be helpful in getting a child to engage in the lesson, they can also be disruptive to other children in the program and take away from the attention the volunteers can provide to participants. We ask that siblings stay with parents in the waiting area and do not come out onto the court unless specifically invited by our personnel.

What is the cost to participate and what is the money used for?
We strive to offer ACEing Autism at as little cost to families as possible. The money is used for the rental of tennis court space, purchase of equipment and teaching materials, to facilitate volunteer transportation and to cover administrative expenses. Actual cost of the program may vary based on location and program schedule. Please refer to the Program page of our website.

Do I pay upfront for the whole session (series of clinics) or just each week when we show up?
We request you pay for the entire session upfront. This enables us to maximize the availability of our program and also allows volunteers to spend their time focusing on the participants rather than handling payment logistics.

I don’t know if this will be a good fit for my child. Can I try it out first?
Absolutely. Please contact us to arrange a trial clinic. You may also come and observe at any time.

What is the policy regarding inclement weather?
If a clinic must be canceled due to weather, we will post a message at the top of the home page www.aceingautism.org as early as possible on the day of the clinic. If a clinic is canceled due to inclement weather, we will provide you with a credit for the next session.

What happens if we miss a clinic? Will we get a refund?
In most cases, we will not be offering refunds for clinics that you miss. However, we will certainly try to be accommodating as possible. Please speak with the program coordinator at your location.

How do you ensure safety?
We make safety a priority on the court. We institute many best practices in this regard such as working hard to provide the appropriate volunteer to participant ratios, keeping siblings off the court, making sure participants maintain a safe distance from one another, setting up drills to have children hitting in the same direction, etc. In some locations, depending on the participant base, we hold “safety talks” at the beginning of each clinic.

Is Advantage Kids and ACEing Autism insured?
Yes, we are both insured under the United States Tennis Association’s Master Liability policy.