Spring has officially sprung!! Temperatures are rising and I think I saw a few flower buds out there! Here at Hybridge, we know that this is the time of year that families are looking to make summer plans. It can be very difficult for families of children with autism to find an appropriate program, so I have put together a guide on how to find the best program for your child!
The wants and needs of each family is different. Some families are looking for their child to have as much quality programming as possible, and may look to add hours of ABA Therapy during the summer. Others want their child to have the classic “camp” experience and may look for programs that provide that opportunity to those on the spectrum. The good news is, there is a variety of programs out there that can meet the different needs of each situation.
The first thing you can to do is compile a list of possibilities. The amount of camps and programs that exist can be overwhelming, but once you start to narrow down specifically what you are looking for, the pool becomes much smaller.
1. Google – You can use Google or your preferred search engine to simply run a search for camps or summer programs in your area.
2. American Camp Association is an organization for accredited camps. Their website allows you to search based on various categories.
3. KidsGuide is a website that includes a directory of camps for children with special needs.
4. My Summer Camps is another directory of all camps that can be narrowed down to those that specialize in special needs.
Narrow It Down
I used the Autism Speaks Camp Checklist as a resource here. They have a very comprehensive list of things to consider when choosing a summer program. I’ve pulled out what may be some of the most pertinent questions, as well as added some of my own:
1. Is the camp exclusive to people with autism, or is it open to multiple populations?
2. What type, if any, of therapies/services are offered? (This may include ABA therapy or others)
3. What type of training is provided to staff?
4. What is the camper to staff ratio?
5. What type of activities will the children participate in?
6. What type of program modifications are possible to meet the individual needs of the students?
7. Does the camp allow an aide to accompany a camper? (This is a service that Hybridge can provide under the correct circumstances)
8. How flexible is the schedule?
9. What is provided? (transportation, meals, etc)
10. What is the cost? Are there sliding rates available based on income?
Once you’ve been able to secure a spot in the program of your choice, you can relax a bit. You can feel confident that you have chosen the appropriate program for your child, and that they will not only enjoy their time there, but will learn something too! They may even come home with friends and stories that you never dreamed of!
Hybridge will be offering a summer program between ESY and the 2015-2016 school year. The summer program is a full day program that will run from August 10-28, 2015 in South River, NJ. The Hybridge Summer Program offers:
– 3 week, full day program.
– Small Group and 1:1 instruction
– Social Skills instruction
– Play skills/Sustained play
-Sports and athletic skills
To express interest in the summer program, please call 908-917-2552 or email firstname.lastname@example.org