Camp F.R.I.E.N.D.'s philosophy is to respond to the needs of the families through community based therapeutic activities to provide the same opportunities to children with autism and related disabilities that are experienced by their same aged peers. According to the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1 in 3 persons with autism are socially isolated. Camp F.R.I.E.N.D. looks to tackle the challenges that cause this staggering statistic by providing the supportive environments to facilitate friendships between persons with autism and related disabilities and their neurotypical peers. Not only is this the philosophy of camp, but the community based activities will help our community be aware that students with autism and related disabilities deserve the same opportunities. Application of this philosophy has strong roots in applied behavior analysis.
Inclusion and community integration are key parts of Camp F.R.I.E.N.D.'s philosophy as the approach to serving campers with autism and related disabilities. The approach will include age appropriate activities geared toward building communication skills. Key parts of camps approach will be positive behavior supports built into each grouping and camp as a whole, utilizing Michelle Garcia Winner's social thinking curriculum, and incidental teaching opportunities to structure the environment to promote more opportunities for skill building. All staff possess a strong foundation and training in applied behavior analysis to integrate strategies to generalize social skills. These strategies may include errorless learning, prompting, task analyses, prompt fading, functional communication training, and differential reinforcement behavior plans. Visual strategies such as social stories, visual schedules, and video modeling will accompany activities.
- Adapted gym activities
- Structured game room activities
- Structured art lessons
- Arts and crafts
- Social skills practice
- Safety personnel interaction
- Community Outings