YPSILANTI — Many children look forward to attending camp during the summer but for children with autism, finding an appropriate day camp can be difficult.
The Autism Collaborative Center at Eastern Michigan University offers a special summer camp, called S.P.L.A.S.H, (Sensory, Play & Music, Language, Art, Social Learning, Health Fun) designed for children on the autism spectrum.
Children attending S.P.L.A.S.H are exposed to socially engaging, sensory rich and creative recreation opportunities. The week-long camps run July through August. Each week incorporates a new theme such as:
Week 1: July 9 -13 Who’s Your Hero?
Week 2: July 16 – 20 The Mad Scientist
Week 3: July 23 – 27 Author’s Week
Week 4: July 30 – Aug. 3 Disney Across the Ages
Week 5: Aug. 6 – 10 Olympics 2012
Week 6: Aug. 13 – 17 Wacky Holiday Week
Last year, the program hosted more than 70 children and administrators hope to see that number increase.
“We would like to make sure families who have children anywhere on the autism spectrum know about our camps,” said Sally Burton-Hoyle, a professor at the ACC.
Participants will interact with a multi-disciplinary team including EMU students majoring in speech pathology, psychology, music therapy and special education. Student supervisors receive special training to ensure they are properly prepared to oversee the camp participants.
“We want to make certain that families feel confident and comfortable that there is knowledge and experience in supporting their children, so they have fun and enjoy their summer,” Burton-Hoyle said.
To participate, children must be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. For more information and registration forms, go to S.P.L.A.S.H. Summer Camp. To register by phone, contact the ACC-EMU at (734) 485-2890 for children between the ages 3 to 8 and call the Judson Center at (734) 528-1692 for children ages 9 to 14.
Camp fees are $275 per weekly session plus a $40 registration fee. For potential scholarship information, contact the Autism Collaborative Center or call 734-485-2890. The S.P.L.A.S.H program is sponsored by the EMU Autism Collaborative Center, Easter Seals Michigan and the Judson Center of Washtenaw.