We're Open


Las Vegas Sport-Social helps kids with autism and special needs during pandemic

Posted at 8:00 PM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 23:00:15-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Covid- 19 stripped away so much of what our valley has to offer.

Perhaps that isn't more evident than this story.

A unique organization that teaches kids with autism and special needs how to learn and grow was shut down.

In this edition of We're Open we look at Sport-Social and how it is now back to fulfilling its mission.

The joy is back. You can hear it in the kids' voices, and see it on the face of the owner of Sport-Social Andrew Devitt.

"I love teaching kids how to ride a skateboard. I love that feeling. The feeling of letting go when that kid learns how to ride a bike for the first time is amazing. It's indescribable," Devitt said.

In March the hard choice was made to shut all of this down.

A tough choice for Devitt, but one he made to protect the kids and his staff.

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It was an even tougher choice when you consider what the 420 kids who go here were missing out on.

"We teach social skills through sports, art, and music to children with special needs through a therapy method called applied behavior analysis," Devitt said.

There was nothing simple about the choice to reopen either.

"We were nervous about reopening. I'm sure many businesses were. It's my responsibility to keep these people safe," Devitt said.

So now there is a touch-less self serve temperature kiosk at the entrance, kids then immediately have to wash their hands, there is social distancing, hand sanitizer, gloves, the equipment is wiped down after every use and all kids are being asked to wear masks.

That includes kids with sensory difficulties and other health issues.


"We are teaching them how to keep it on. We are starting at them maybe wearing it for one minute and then working up to them wearing it for the entire duration of them being here," Devitt said.

All of this is happening while Sport-Social moved to a brand new building that's more than double the size of the building they were in when they shut down.

"It is difficult to describe the feeling of being able to open again," Devitt said.

To learn more about Sport-Social visit their website, LVSportSocial.com.