Children with Autism
INCLUSION BASED ACTIVITIES FOR 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. We provide fun activities that improve socialization, communication and life skills. We give parents more ways to help their children grow and thrive.
At the Y, we provide children with autism a balance of educational support and recreational activities 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.
Since 2005, YMCA Camp Boomerang, hosted by the Brace Family YMCA, provides children with autism the unforgettable opportunity to take part in a regular day camp. The camp immerses children with autism into the conventional YMCA Camp Eagle Rock at the Brace Family 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, age-appropriate camp activities (swimming, arts and crafts and more).
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.