The Help Group’s Kids Like Me camps provide a safe and enriching atmosphere for children with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs. Led by highly-trained therapists and counselors, the camp programs create opportunities for children and teens to engage, experience, and explore.
The summer has proven to be a rewarding experience for both new and returning campers on the Sherman Oaks and Culver City school campuses. One of the more popular camp themes this year was based on the movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Campers made their own light sabers and engaged in other fun art projects related to the film. Someone dressed as the character Kylo Ren even made a surprise appearance on campus – the kids were thrilled by the visit.
The Help Group summer camps also hosted their very own carnival – a yearly tradition. Campers and staff created an authentic carnival experience that included a pie-throwing booth, a snow cone stand, a ring-toss game, a bounce house and water slides.
These themed events allow the kids to practice the skills they’ve learned throughout summer in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere. Nicole Webb, Kids Like Me Program Director, remarked, “All kids benefit from structured programs during school breaks. Children with autism specifically benefit from camp due to the structure of the program in an unstructured time. Kids with autism attending camp can possibly prevent things like regression over the summer.”
The Help Group’s Teens On The Go summer camps emphasize peer interaction, social skills development and friendship-building for teens with high functioning
autism spectrum disorder. This year’s program included a week-long trip to San Francisco. Chaperoned by adult staff members, the campers visited Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, along with other landmark sites, and attended a Giants baseball game and took a cable car tour.
“Teens On The Go camp provides an In Vivo experience for students and gives them an opportunity to be away from their parents and practice independent living skills,” Nicole Webb explained.
The fun doesn’t have to stop when summer does. The Help Group’s Kids Like Me program has classes and afterschool activities throughout the school year. This upcoming fall boasts a varied schedule that includes enrichment classes like therapeutic horseback riding, and afterschool activities such as tennis, bowling, intro to computers and photography, to name a few.
For more information about Kids Like Me programs, please visit: www.thehelpgroup.org/program/kids-like-me-camps