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Summer Camp

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Choosing the right summer camp for an individual with autism can be a challenging task. How do you choose a camp? What is important to you when choosing a summer camp?

For more information about the Autism Speaks Baker Summer Camp program, please visit here.


  1. lashia emery
    April 11, 2011 at 10:49 am

    My son has and i need help

  2. April 11, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I biggest issue is funding for camps. I have two children on the spectrum, I am a single mom and have no additional money. There are no funds for camps available from the Regional Center. We need scholarships or funding for summer camps.

    • kellie
      April 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm

      in northwest louisiana i have found 3 camps and only one is by donation. Dont know where you live, but if here you can contact me thru email. khines317@bellsouth.net

      • April 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm

        I am in Northern California

  3. April 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I’ve had a very difficult time FINDING a summer camp that seems right for my son, even though I have spent many hours searching online for information about camps that are specifically geared toward HFAS. Camps tend to be very far away and very expensive. Those that are closer seem to be very specific in scope — focusing on activities that my son would not embrace. Those that are geared toward activities he enjoys are limited to younger kids. I also find that many summer camps last for several weeks, when I would prefer a camp that only lasts one week. I’ve decided that for this year at least, my son will attend a camp in Oregon that is not autism-specific.

  4. April 11, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I have been retired from Teaching abt. 2 yrs. I taught pre-K in public schools for 31 years,worked with many students who had Autism,most of them touched my life forever!!I live on a horse farm in South Georgia and would love to work with kids who have Autisum in this area. How do I get started?

  5. John H
    April 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Our son is 7 and will be 8 this September. He has not only thrived and made great progress from the Dower and Assoc. summer program, but asks to go all year round :) If you have wondered whether or not to get your child involved in a summer program, I highly recommend it, and if your in the No. Va area, I highly recommend Dower and Associates! http://www.dowerandassociates.com/

  6. Aleida Acevedo
    April 11, 2011 at 11:23 am

    My son just turned he is non-verbal autistic and has sensory issues I am looking for somewhere to put him for two weeks before he goes back to school and three weeks after.

  7. Carolyn
    April 11, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I’m a single mom with a 5yr old son on the spectrum. There is a wonderful camp at our local Y that is geared specifically for disabled children. It’s kinda expensive, but I apply for a scholarship each year at it makes it very affordable. My son really enjoys it and gets to see a few kids from school over the summer.

  8. Rachael
    April 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    There is a camp that I worked at in High Falls, NY that is geared towards all different ages and many different disabilities. They have amazing programs geared toward many different types of disabilites to include all sorts of interests and ability levels. The camp is named Camp Huntington and I would highly recommend it. It is an overnight camp where your child can stay for 3 wks or all 6 wks but if you only want to do a trial run for a week I know they really try to work with everyone to give your children the best experience they can! If you have any other questions, please let me know and I will do my best to answer them!

  9. Jennifer
    April 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    My 8yr old son ( non-verbal PDD-NOS) is currently enrolled in 3 camps this summer. 2 are autistic specific. the first is a church camp that will allow him to bring his TSS to help him stay on task and communicate. the second is thru the school district where they will send him to 5 weeks of camp at a really great autism school in the area and the third is thru a group we belonged to last year. he is very excited about his summer as all of these camps have planned many outings including theme parks and use of the community pool. the best part of all of it, i don’t pay $1 or have to rely on funding. the school picks up the most expensive of them and medicare pays for the second. the church camp is always free.

  10. Anna Marie
    April 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    My 7 year old son who has fallen on the spectrum of autism loves school. I have asked at school if there is any kind of program for summer school and I have been told no. And even if there is, how would I get help on paying for this program. Any suggestions?

    • Suzanne
      April 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      My son is now 16 years old and high functioning. When he was in the lower grades in public elementary school, he did not qualify for summer school because he had not demonstrated regression in his skills during vacation breaks. However, I learned that if I requested he be served in summer school, the school district was obliged to honor the request. This may just have been the policy of my particular school district, but it is worth asking about this! He loved school and even though summer school was only a few mornings a week for a few weeks, it kept him occupied!

    • Helen
      April 15, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      My son is lucky to be with Camp DMC (Dan Marino Center) last 3 years. and every summer his looking forward to his his old friend and it is a fundend summer camp
      depending on your income they have a great staff and teachers and they have limited campers and we live here in Fort Lauderdale FL

  11. Amy
    April 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I know of around 5 camps in the Philadelphia area if anyone is interested.

    • Marie
      April 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      What are the programs you know of in the Philadelphia area? I am looking for a program for my 7 yr old son. Thanks.

  12. Dawn
    April 12, 2011 at 11:13 am

    The JCC Camp at Medford in NJ has a terrific summer camp. They have a program called Open Hearts Open Doors which places children of all disabilities with a one on one advocate in an inclusive setting with peers. Our 12 year old daughter with autism has gone to this camp for three years and LOVES it. The staff is amazing and she has a great time participating in activities she wouldn’t normally try. There is a wait list though.

  13. Carolyn Fina
    April 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I am looking for a camp that my son to attend! Jack has autism is 5 and non verbal. We live in Colorado Springs! Thanks!

  14. MICHELLE
    April 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    My son is 13 and has Asperger Syndrome. I have researched and have had no luck finding camps in the Cleveland area that would fit his needs. The ones I have found are very expensive. I am a single mom with two other kids, one is in college. Cost is a very big factor for me. If anyone knows of camps please let me know.

  15. jennifer collins
    April 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Yes my son was recently diagnosed with asperger’s & I am looking to put him in some type of summer program but I live in Knoxville, Tn, and I haven’t found anything that would meet his needswould love some suggestions & help in where I could look.

  16. Kevin
    April 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Are there any Summer Camps for my Autistic son near Richmond, VA that are reasonably priced???

  17. Nijia
    April 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I am looking for a camp that is not expensive as I am a single mother of a 13 yr old girl with PDD- NOS. I live in the Atlanta area.. If any one can help!

  18. jackie fadalla
    April 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    i have 2 twin i need help bad

  19. Sherry
    April 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Anyone know of anything available in the North AL area? My son will be 15 this summer, he is high functioning and verbal but needs more supervision than a regular camps.

  20. Monika
    April 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    HSBC waiver funded summer camp in central Iowa. http://www.childserve.org

  21. Connie
    April 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I’m with Sherry My son is 16, he is high functioning and verbal but needs more supervision than a regular camp, I would love to just find a camp or group even if it’s only a meeting type thing, that my son could go to and be paired up with a mentor, close to his age that will help him learn how to be a teenager, my husband and I are the Authority and he won’t listen to us and of course so are his teacher, and most kids in his special Ed classes Won’t have much to do with him because of behavior issues, and most stem from him just not knowing how to be a teenager. I’m in the far Western Kentucky area.

  22. Suzanne
    April 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    My son is 16 and high functioning. In the past he attended a day camp at Georgia College and did fine. All the counselors were education majors, and most kids under age 12 don’t mind “quirky” kids. For the past few years, he attended Camp Chatuga in South Carolina. It’s a regular sleep away camp but they were very accommodating. He was a “leader in training” last year, but did not do very well because he did not always want to follow orders and stay on task in his responsibilities. This summer he will go to a Talisman camp in North Carolina (www.talismancamps.com) and hopefully work harder on his interpersonal skills. Pricey, but we are hopeful it will be a good investment. They also have a boarding school.

    I’m also wishing for some type of local mentoring program for him. He attends military school (great structure and discipline!) But making friends is hard and he needs to learn how to be a teen.

    • Kerry Ann Graber
      June 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      I am in so need of help for my son who is almost 15 in July. He has high functioning Autism as well. I am researching camps to help with social skills, teen pressure etc; My husband works for a company and travels out of country a lot. I am pretty much a single mom and am searching the internet for a chance for him to “get help” and for me and my daughter to get a break as well. He needs structure and discipline. Sounds like your son is doing well. Please let me know your thoughts.
      Sincerely,
      Kerry Graber
      Ocala, Florida

  23. vickie
    April 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    How do you all get your children to even want to go to camp?Mine doesnt like being around other people.

  24. Patti Stuart
    April 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    My daughter is 18 and not very verbal, but we’ve gone several times to the Extreme Sports Camp near Aspen, Colorado. She loved the exciting activities like rafting, high ropes and watertubing. I liked the competance and abundance of the counselors. They give scholarships, but it’s difficult/expensive to get to. We lived in Colorado Springs, and it was still a 4 hour trip. I do recommend the camp, though.

  25. April 12, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I am the Director of a YMCA Camp in the Poconos that offers an inclusion program for children with developmental disabilities. About 1/3 of the children in our inclusion program have spectrum disorder diagnosis. While I wholeheartedly believe we do an outstanding job with our campers, I would welcome input from parents about what is important to parents when selecting a summer camp for their child. Thank you!

    • Suzanne
      April 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

      I think first and foremost is going to be cost! Assistance on obtaining scholarship or tuition assistance. Distance from home. Counselor-camper ratio. How much attention is given to teamwork skills and leadership skills (older campers), and a structured day (very important to most ASD kids). Are counselors experienced with special needs kids? Also important is communication with the parents (emails from the counselor when problems arise, having kids write home, daily photos posted on the website). These are things that my husband and I looked at when considering camps. My son has attended a regular camp for three years and will attend an ASD specific Talisman camp this year (first time).

  26. Katy C
    April 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I worked at a summer camp for kids with Autism and Aspergers in North Carolina. It was the best! It was called Talisman, it’s an adventure camp for kiddos 8-24. You do many new things such as rock climb, hike, swim, and many other things. Also another camp that I absolute love to work at is called SOAR. This camp is also an adventure camp. Both camps are absolutely amazing in NC and I would highly recommend them!!

    • Suzanne
      April 13, 2011 at 11:43 am

      I am very glad to hear a good recommendation for Talisman. My 16 year old son will attend their Insight program for the first time this summer. We went to an Open House at the camp and met some of the boarding school students while there. I was impressed with the emphasis on problem-solving and communication, which is what my very outgoing son needs!

  27. April 14, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Rowan University, NJ opening a day camp for Children w. Autism & Aspergers

    Young Profs Exploration Camp Opening this Summer!

    The Academic Success Center at Rowan University will be starting a new one week summer day camp on campus this July for middle school students ages 11-14 with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism.
    An Open House is scheduled for Saturday, April 2nd at the Chamberlain Student Center Room 221 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

    Young Profs Exploration Camp will debut the week of July 25th – 28th , 2011. This unique camp will provide opportunities for campers to explore, discover and experience activities led by various Rowan University faculty.

    Contacts:

    Amanda Mason
    Graduate Coordinators, Graduate Assistant / Coordinator
    masona85@students.rowan.edu

    John Woodruff
    Director, Academic Success Center and Disability Resources
    Academic Success Center
    woodruff@rowan.edu
    Extension: 4234 (from off-campus, 856-256-4234)
    ____________________________

  28. Pat
    April 15, 2011 at 8:31 am

    As a mom of a teenage daughter on the spectrum and as a supervisor at a tri-county community mental health program that serves individuals with disabilities, I knew there was little offered in our area in the way of appropriate summer camps…or the camps offered did not “work” for working parents (i.e. didn’t completely cover the hours a parent has to work). My agency worked with the Mid MI Autism Association, a local Y, and a city parks & rec department and provided training to counselors to educate them about how to work with children with special needs (including autism). The goal was to keep our children integrated with their peers during the summer months. It was very successful for those who enrolled. This year, we will expand our training to include peer to peer support for our children with special needs – teaching campers about disabilities and helping them to be role models for our children while still having fun! If you can find a parks & rec dept, a Y, or other community agency willing to explore this option, see if one of your child’s therapists might meet with them or offer a training on disabilities – how to communicate, visual schedules, modifying the environment for sensory issues, things that could trigger behaviors, etc. If you have any questions on how we got this started and what our training consisted of, please contact me @ miller@ceicmh.org.

  29. Nicole
    April 15, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I am looking for a camp for my 6 year old daughter with PDD. I have found a few that sound great but the prices are too much. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  30. Rebecca
    April 16, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    A private camp – Summit Camp PA has an amazing program with good staff/camper ratios and caters for 7-18 year olds. They have supervised travel camps as well as weekend camp programs to continue friendships established at camp. Support for parents and nightly newsletters to reassure you whilst you are at home, as well as enable conversation starters with parent/camper communication. http://www.summitcamp.com Good Luck

  31. April 20, 2011 at 6:41 am

    I think firstly the parent must make an effort to understand what the child wants and why. After that according to the cost, location, size, camp management and meal the parents should decide which camp is more suitable for their child.

  32. Lori
  1. April 11, 2011 at 11:50 pm
  2. April 12, 2011 at 4:25 am
  3. September 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

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