What is a Functional Academic Program? – Camp For Special Needs Children
When parents consider registering their child for a summer at Camp Lee Mar they have usually reviewed our website and are looking for a summer of fun, life skills, and education for their child. We discuss their child’s I.E.P., speech and academic program, and all the fun camp activities our program has to offer.
We also discuss one of the key aspects of each camper’s schedule – our functional academic program! This program pulls all the aspects of the campers’ learning (speech, academics, O.T. skills) into areas of daily living outside of a classroom setting. Our functional academic program includes:
- Cooking skills and kitchen safety. Each camper has cooking and kitchen safety on their schedule. Our campers learn to use appliances safely, kitchen utensils safely and help to prepare light meals for their group. Our campers also learn to gather all the needed items for a recipe, to follow a recipe, and prepare and mix items appropriately.
- Daily living skills. Each camper has direct teaching regarding daily living skills. Our campers make their beds each morning with assistance from sour campers
taff, they learn how to fold their own clothing, and they learn to keep their area in the cabin neat and organized.
- Personal grooming skills. Our staff are training to assist our campers in perfecting their personal grooming skills. All those fine motor skills developed in OT sessions can be worked in a natural and functional environment. While our campers are dressing they are working on putting on socks, tying shoes, working on clothing reversals and assuring the clothing they pick out for the day matches and is a good fit for the weather.
- Dining skills/table skills. Our campers are supported at mealtimes by their group counselors and speech staff. All the skills acquired in speech sessions can be practiced in a functional setting requesting items to be passed and making conversation throughout the meal. Our campers are also working in using serving utensils confidently and cutting foods on their plate using their knife and fork.
Camp Lee Mar has always focused the development of the whole child. We want our campers to be functionally and academically prepared for their next school year, as well as preparing for their transition to their adult life. We want our campers to be able to connect to the community they live in using the social and daily living skills they developed at Camp Lee Mar. Our overall aim is to have our campers live their best possible life, because they had the opportunity to gain and perfect their skills at camp!
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!