Camp makes a place for autistic youngsters
Tall Oaks Conference Center in Linwood played host this weekend to Camp Determination, one of the only camp activities in the United States designed specifically for children with autism or Asperger Syndrome.
Autism is a developmental disability that is usually evident during the first three years of life. It is a neurological disorder that affects brain function and that occurs in approximately 15 of every 10,000 individuals.
Approximately 21 camp counselors helped 19 children with autism experience a weekend camping experience that included traditional activities like horseback riding, fishing, swimming, archery, hiking, canoeing and challenge courses.
The theme of Camp Determination is to focus on children's abilities rather than disabilities.
Camp organizers said the sessions represented some of the few times that children with autism have been able to fully participate in group activities with success.
Because of communication and behavior challenges, some children with autism require specialized care and supervision, making difficult their participation in most camp or social activities.
Camp Determination affords children the opportunity.
In its eighth year, the camp offers a one-on-one camper to counselor ratio to ensure a safe and fun outdoor experience.