Summer programs for kids with Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism provide a functional setting for children to practice social skills and social thinking skills in a natural environment. Summer camps for kids with Asperger’s or HFA can cater to a wide range of children.
The term Asperger’s, or as it is now medically termed High Functioning Autism (HFA), can be deceptive. Many people assume that if a child has Asperger’s or HFA it means that they are not really as “affected” by their diagnosis as a child who may obviously appear to be on the autism spectrum. However, what it usually means for a child with HFA is that they can cover/mask their sensory, social and emotional issues more effectively in a social setting, but this is exhausting for them and no less of a day-to-day challenge.
These are the children whose parents are often hear “But are you sure they have autism? They seem fine to me.”
These are the children that struggle with daily social interactions but have been taught enough social and emotional skills to work around their daily challenges. Many appearing to take their day in stride, until they are so exhausted that they shut down or need to leave the social situation.
These are the children that have a very limited friend group outside of school as they find it difficult to maintain long term social groups and social interactions. These children long for friends, but do not have the social understanding to nurture those friendships.
When considering summer programs for kids with Asperger’s or HFA it is important to consider the child’s social and emotional functioning level. Many of our Camp Lee Mar campers with HFA may be close to grade level academically, but socially and emotionally not on par with their mainstream peers. When considering summer camps for kids with Asperger’s or HFA the social and emotional support offered is the key to success. At Camp Lee Mar we are looking to provide each camper on the autism spectrum a supportive environment, an environment that allows each child to be themselves, lessen anxiety and work on skills like;
• Self confidence
• Self-control and emotional regulation
• Group skills and collaborative problem solving
• Social thinking and social understanding
• The ability to be flexible in thinking and routines
• Learning to adapt and respond to the people and situations around them.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions related to how our summer camps for kids with autism can serve your child on the Autism Spectrum.
Written by Lynsey Trohoske
My name is Lynsey Trohoske, I am the assistant director at Camp Lee Mar. I have three amazing children, my middle child happens to be on the autism spectrum and is a camper at Lee Mar. I joined camp as a counselor in 1998 and loved the campers and their families so much that Camp Lee Mar became my second home!