YMCA of Greater Charlotte

Children with Autism

In partnership with the Autism Foundation of the Carolinas and the Autism Society of North Carolina, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte engages children with autism in inclusive after-school and day camp programs that provide children with autism fun activities that improve socialization, communication and life skills and give their parents more ways to help kids children grow and thrive.


At the Y, we provide children with autism a balance of educational support and recreational activities for each child, while providing a safe, nurturing and enriching environment to meet each child's unique needs. A ratio of one counselor to every three children enables our Afterschool program to offer a tailored curriculum for each child. The focus of the program is to enhance independent functional living skills and self management skills by presenting opportunities for socialization, communication and self-directed choice in a relaxing and fun environment.

Camp Boomerang

Since 2005, YMCA Camp BoomerangTM, hosted by the Siskey YMCA, allows children with autism to take part in a regular day camp. The camp immerses children with autism into the conventional YMCA Camp Eagle Rock at the Siskey YMCA to provide them with the typical camp experience. Unlike specialty camps that can be expensive and are generally suited for younger children, YMCA Camp Boomerang offers a typical day camp experience at the same cost for children with autism between the ages of five and fifteen. With the help of autism specialists, volunteers and camp staff, the camp integrates special camp sessions (pet and art therapy) with typical camp activities (swimming and arts and crafts). Not only does the camp offer a place of happiness for its campers, it also raises awareness and serves as a great model for other YMCAs to establish similar inclusive-based programs throughout the YMCA movement.

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YMCA Mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.