"I want to thank you for helping me to get Zoe's difficulty with her bunk-mate squared away.
You're doing a terrific thing by having such a camp. You've certainly made a lasting impression on us. Your fun-loving
kindness, dedication and hard work are clear and obvious. We hope nothing but good grows from what you have begun here.
Thank you for everything."||
Summer Camp Resources |
Asperger's Resources |
What is Asperger's Syndrome?
Asperger's Syndrome -- also called Asperger Syndrome, Asperger Disorder, Asperger's, or AS -- is a
neurobiological "disorder" characterized by difficulties with social skills and social interaction,
problems with transitions and changes, and often a preoccupation with a limited set of interests or
activities. Asperger's Syndrome was named after the Austrian physician Hans Asperger who first
documented the pattern of AS behaviors in young boys in 1944. It wasn't until the mid 1990s that
Asperger's Syndrome was widely recognized by medical professionals and parents.
Individuals with Aspergers have normal to high intelligence and normal language development. People with
Aspergers can have incredibly rich vocabularies; their main difficulty with communication lies in
misreading nonverbal cues and social situations. The number and severity of Asperger symptoms varies by
individual. Many people with a high functioning form of Aspergers see AS not as a "disorder" meant to be
treated or cured, but rather as a neurobiological "difference" that need only be understood.
As of yet, there is no one definitive classification for AS. It has been described as an autism spectrum
disorder (ASD), a form of High Functioning Autism (HFA), a Nonverbal Learning Disability (NLD), and a
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). It is not until recently that AS has been recognized as a unique
condition and diagnosed. In fact, many children originally diagnosed with ADD or ADHD were later
re-diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.
Asperger's Syndrome and Summer Camp for Children
Treatment for children with Asperger Syndrome typically focuses on interventions to help kids better
interact with others and become more self-sufficient. Activities and situations where kids receive social
skills training, proper communication cues, and emotional support are most helpful.
This is why sending a child with Aspergers to a summer camp that understands AS can be quite beneficial.
The summer camp experience in and of itself is a social situation where social skill development and
communication are important parts of daily life. A child or teenager at the right summer camp has a wonderful
opportunity to learn and practice the social skills needed throughout his or her life.
The program at Camp Akeela is not therapeutic per se, but it offers a structured environment where life
skills, friendship development, respect for the community, confidence and fun are encouraged by caring,
knowledgeable experts and adults. Not all campers at Akeela have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.
The small nurturing community Camp Akeela provides benefits all children who wish to improve their social
skills. To learn more about Camp Akeela's philosophy and program,
Additional Information on Asperger's Syndrome
The web offers a wide range of information on Asperger's and other non-verbal learning disabilities. Below
is a limited list of some of the online resources we recommend.
ASPEN (Asperger Syndrome Education Network)
The website of this non-profit organization headquartered in New Jersey offers information on education,
support, and advocacy for people with Asperger's Syndrome and other Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Asperger's Association of New England (AANE)
Online Asperger's information, support groups, services, grants, resources, events and more, particularly
in the New England area.
Asperger Syndrome And High Functioning Autism Association
Primarily a support group for parents in New York, this site also offers comprehensive information and
links on high-functioning special needs / aspergers / autism.
OASIS @ MAPP Services
An extensive set of articles, educational information, links to resources, recommended reading, and moderated support
message boards for families, individuals, and professionals who deal with Asperger's and other spectrum disorders.
Australian psychologist Tony Attwood is an internationally recognized expert on Asperger's Syndrome who studied
under Uta Frith, one of the pioneering researchers on AS. Tony's comprehensive website is "a guide for parents,
professionals and people with Asperger's Syndrome and their partners."
The website for Michelle Garcia Winner's excellent approach to teaching lifelong social skills.
The Gray Center
Home of Carol Gray, the developer of Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations, tools that help many
on the spectrum with social understanding.
Asperger's Syndrome is much like non-verbal learning disability. For more specific information on NLD (or NVLD),
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