Camps for Autistic Children
For the fourth year in a row, the Kids for Camp program has provided children with autism a place to experience a normal summer vacation. This unique camp combines elementary aged autistic children with volunteers of all ages and "typical" elementary students with the philosophy that all groups involved will learn something about life. Camp activities include swimming, IMAX movies, Zoo visits and learning exercises. All camp activities are provided free of charge.
During the week-long bicycle camp in the gymnasium at FAIR School in Crystal, the Kleins had 26 young customers selected by the Autism Society of Minnesota.
Autism, a neurological disorder that, according to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, affects one in 166 Americans, makes everyday life a challenge. Normal childhood experiences like camp can seem impossible. But the Mt. Hood Kiwanis, thanks to a three-year grant, some ingenuity, and partnerships with Portland State University's special education program and The Oral Hull Foundation, is offering its first-ever camp just for autistic adults and children.
The Dairy Queen outing was part of an annual social skills camp at Pronghorn Elementary. The camp comprises 24 district kids from the special education program who were specifically recommended by teachers or aides. It was designed to give kids a social outlet and reinforce basic communication skills, and the school district pays for it.
By helping campers understand the steps involved in simple things, such as playing with others, camp leaders hope the campers will fare better in school and on the playground.
NPR's Joseph Shapiro recently visited an unusual summer camp for such children in Washington, D.C. It was designed to teach crucial social skills -- like how to carry on a simple conversation, or talk on the phone, and, most of all, how to make friends.
For 16 children with autism spectrum disorder, summer camp this month was about more than crafts and other typical camp activities. For them, camp also was about learning social skills and nuances, such as making eye contact, listening to others and engaging in conversation. Camp SS (Social Skills) STAR was offered by the Systematic Treatment for Autism and Related Disorders (STAR) program at the University of Louisville's Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center and funded with a gift from The Woman's Club of Louisville.
Muskoka refuge offers a chance for children with multiple disorders
Special programs for autism, Tourette's, draw campers from far and wide
At times G may seem uncooperative, this is not a sign of defiance or disrespect. It may be a time that he is overstimulated, or just very interested in what he is doing...
This year I finally worked out a solution: I started a camp for children on the spectrum at our school.
Invisibility is the best evidence of the success of the "shadow" program at the JCC of Central New Jersey this summer. Twenty children with special needs are participating in the center's Camp Yachad, each accompanied by companions -- or shadows -- who keep an eye on their charges and provide a dose of extra help and comfort. Unless they are pointed out, however, a visitor would be hard-pressed to identify the shadows among the boisterous mass of kids playing, swimming, singing, eating, and generally doing their camp things.
Some camps hold specialty weeks, hosting, for example, families during Jewish holidays and interfaith families. Camp Ramah Darom, located near Clayton, Ga., runs Camp Yofi for the families of autistic children. Several Ramah camps run Tikvah programs for special-needs children. Camp HASC, operating under Orthodox auspices in the Catskills, serves mentally and physically handicapped children and adults. Reform movement camps and JCC camps mainstream some kids with special needs. The New Jersey "Y" camps also offer a camp for children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, Asperger Syndrome, and multiple social-skills disorders.
Help staff learn the positive aspects of your child, what reinforces him or her, what their interests are, what they are good at doing, as well as other issues that might arise.
Cicero-based Agape Therapeutic Riding Center has received a $2,050 grant to help fund a new summer adventure camp for teenagers and young adults with autism. The weeklong program will give participants three hours each day to do activities such as ride horses and experience "sensory integration," getting them comfortable with different sounds, textures and colors, said Kevin Allender, director of resource development at Agape.
Snoezelen is a multi-sensory stimulating environment specifically designed for individuals with severe sensory impairment, autism, or multiple disabilities.
It's a special five week summer camp where autistic children take field trips and participate in activities ranging from arts and crafts to group games. On Tuesday, 14 children from the Reach N Teach Summer Camp took a field trip to the Chalk Box on Main Avenue. The children, ages 3 to 16, experienced some gymnastic moves on the equipment.
Knowing how difficult it was for me to find a summer camp that understood Tourette's, I started compiling a list of summer camps that might be worth checking into if your child has Tourette's Syndrome, OCD, ADHD, etc.
Information about summer camps that focus on therapy for kids with special needs and/or respite for the kids and their families. I have broken it into national categories and regional categories in the USA.
Wesley Forest is a United Methodist Church camp. The first special needs camp, in 1989, had 10 campers and 8 counselors. Currently there are 2 camps and a weekend retreat serving over 50 campers
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In other words: Sublime or ridiculous? You decide!
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This page was last updated on 5 November 2008, 3:48 pm
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