Summer Camps for Autism Spectrum Kids

Parent Q&A

Camps for tweens and teens with autism Mar 26, 2021 (3 responses below)
Summer Camps for High functioning 6 year olds Feb 1, 2020 (4 responses below)
  • Camps for tweens and teens with autism

    (3 replies)

    Hi there.  My 13 year old daughter has high functioning autism and qualifies for a non-public school through her IEP.  She is lonesome and looking for opportunities to stretch herself, maybe even an overnight camp.  Horses at camp are a plus.  We had thought to try Camp Krem but it appears there was a fire there and they are still regrouping.  We'd really like to know where we should look when we are safe enough from covid to resume things like this.  A day camp that is autism friendly and aware local to Berkeley could be really good for this summer too.  Very low staff to camper ratio is important in this case.   Thanks for any and all suggestions!

    Hi:

    Our son is 15, may be high functioning autistic, and we sent him to yea camp for a week.  It is not specific to autistic kids, but in speaking to the camp director to express particular potential concerns about our son, she said they are very experienced with all kinds of kids,  including kids who are diagnosed as high functioning autistic.  

    Note to the moderator- Since this question has only gotten one reply, I’d like to suggest that the parent check out AANE, Aspergers/Autism Network, at aane.org. They have a list of summer camps specifically for high-functioning autism and a google group for parents where she can get more personal recommendations. 

    Seeds of Awareness is a counseling center in Oakland that offers a summer camp program called Fiddleheads. We went there two summers ago and it was a great experience for my son. https://www.seeds-of-awareness.org/

  • Hello, 

    Has anyone had experience lately with summer camps for kids on the spectrum. My kid is verbal and has no major behavioral issues. It has been hard to find a camp that I trust and can read between the lines with him. Any luck finding ones in the East Bay/ Oakland and Berkeley areas? 

    Thank you, 

    Camp Galileo! My HFA son went for years & loved it. (He’s verbal but very quiet, sensitive to noise/crowds). The counselors are very well trained. So even though the vibe is very high energy, they are ready & on the lookout for quiet/sensitive kids who need a different approach. They really do a great job with having alternate activities, caring staff, understanding different personalities. 

    We are in a similar boat and have had very good experiences with Lawrence Hall of Science and Trackers.

    Also, Outdoor Kids OT camp is amazing, although it's only 1 week long and for 4 hours a day:

    https://www.outdoorkidsot.com/contgo-kids-camp

    Fiddleheads Camp.

    multiple locations in the Bay Area

    https://www.seeds-of-awareness.org/our-services/fiddleheads/

    nature based with therapist on staff!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Questions

Summer Camp for 7 yr old boy w/Aspergers

Jan 2016

My friend just moved to town. She has a 7 year old boy who is diagnosed as ''high functioning autistic.'' She is trying to navigate systems and services... Can anyone recommend any summer camps that are either for special needs or that are not specifically for special needs but would provide a supportive environment? Also - any suggestions about organizations/resource people that can help her navigate services (how to connect with other parents, how to deal with IEP/schools, etc) that would be great. Thank you! Trying to help


I would start with Family Resource Network (www.frnoakland.org) for help with navigating services. Their website states that they help with ages 0-5 but I can't imagine they wouldn't be able to help your friend with an older child get pointed in the right direction at the very least. They have a bunch of support groups and workshops too.

For the sake of other people reading this I'll mention Regional Center of the East Bay but they only work with ages 0-3 and 22+. By state law, ages 3-22 are responsibility of the local school district, but as you probably know they are focused on providing developmental services via the IEP, and not on more general support for families/carers.

I would like to add as a bit of reassurance that although I have not taken advantage yet of all that FRN has to offer, we have worked with people at RCEB and BUSD, and I am very pleased with the level of quality and professionalism we have seen so far, especially knowing how difficult it can be to work in the public sector in this era of dwindling budgets.
Proud Daddy of Son with Special Needs


I can't speak to camps much (only one I've heard of is via EdSupports) but wanted to offer two helpful Facebook groups: ''East Bay Autism Parents'' and ''EBBM IEP/504 Support''. They're quite geographically specific (I guess as the names would imply), but if your friend will be living locally, they're very helpful. Best thing I've found for sharing resources. Also double as online support groups. I look forward to reading other responses here, though. Tired of Reinventing the Wheel


I have an 8 year old son with Aspergers. The best camps for him have been Galileo, Sarah's Science Camp and Lego Camps (Bricks4Kidz). I have been so happy with all of those camps and the subtle extra care they give my son. As far as resources- I could list many here, but probably easiest if you friend emails me directly, as different areas/ school districts have different resources. (We have been in a couple districts due to a move). Also- not sure if your friend has Regional Center Services and/or services through Easter Seals? We receive ABA therapy through ES which is paid for by Kaiser. Two quick links...

EastBay Autism Parents- https://www.facebook.com/groups/325983237562522/

And an Asperger's Resource group (although this is not locale-specific.) https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/AspergersSupport kellita


Summer Camps and Programs for Teens with Aspergers

March 2011

Any ideas regarding summer camps and programs for teens with Aspergers? I would like ideas and feedback regarding programs in the area.


Hi, My daughter and her friends, all on the ''spectrum'', have spent several wondeful summers at Cal Camp at Strawberry Canyon . They have a wonderful program that is focused on building social skills and competence. Dr. Jennifer Selke, the program director, is very knowlegable and knows how to integrate the special teens into the program. The program offers tons of support. You can reach Jennifer at 510-642-7648 or email her at jenn8 [at] berkeley.edu. Please tell her that Varda says: ''Hi''. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.


Camp for high functioning spectrum/aspergers 6-year-old

Jan 2009

Can anyone recommend a summer camp in the East Bay for my son who will be 6 and on the high functioning spectrum/aspergers? He needs a program that emphasizes social skills and teaching focus/staying on task as a prep for mainstreaming in 1st grade. thanks L.


Hi, We have had our daughter who is higher functioning ASD at Glitter and Razz camp(www.glitterandrazz.com) both the last few summers and during school breaks. It is a children's acting and art camp where they do an amazing job following the children's lead to wherever their ideas and minds take them. It is simply the most creative, most amazing environment for ALL kids you can imagine. Our daughter has been successfully included and able to fully participate in ways we have not seen in other camps. The program works because it is done right for ALL kids. The two women who run the camp 'get it' like few adults I have come across. We cannot wait till our 'typical' younger child gets to attend their programs as well. anon


Hi L! I have been involved with This Land is Your Land Summer Day Camp for several years now and I would highly recommend this camp for for your son. The camp directors have extensive experience in dealing with children on the high- functioning spectrum/aspergers and they and their counselors are kind, loving and extremely sensitive to all of the issues of their campers. This camp blends the exciting science and nature studies developed by Sarah Shaffer with art, music, hiking, swimming, and outdoor games. Campers complete and take home one or more science projects daily and get to spend quality time outdoors at Tilden Park, Roberts Regional Park, or Little Hills park. You can check out the website: www.sarahscience.com or call the office (510) 581-3739 for additional information or to discuss you child's special needs directly with Sarah. Kathy


Summer Camp for Kids with Asperger's

April 2004

Kaleidoscope Unlimited at Julia Morgan Center for the Arts was created in 2002 by a group of professionals dedicated to increasing access to arts participation for children with special needs. This fun and challenging two-week camp offers an exciting integrated arts curriculum, developed by artists, teachers and therapists for children with Asperger's Syndrome. Daily practice in social skills as well as fun outdoor activities round out the day for this arts-rich program. Campers will work with a lead teaching artist and participate in theater, dance, music and visual art sessions. Over the course of two weeks, we will work together to create a play from the Kaleidoscope Unlimited campers' original ideas. Camp dates: 8/16 - 8/27, Monday- Friday, 9am-2pm. Tuition: $ 575.00 Mention the Berkeley Parents Network and get 25.00 off the price of tuition! Call Melissa (510)845-8542 x301 for information and to register or go to www.juliamorgan.org