- Supporting Students with Asperger's Syndrome Who Present Behavioral Challenges
- A Brief Explanation of Discrete Trial Training
- Applied Behavior Analysis: A Focus on Outcomes
- A Challenge to Reframe our Thinking About Behavior
- Concerning Consequences: What Do I Do When...?
- Consequences, Behavior, and My Birds
- Don't Forget About Self Management
- Ever Had a Crisis Kind of Day?
- Movement Difference: A Closer Look at the Possibilities
- Movement Differences Among Some People with Autism: an Impetus to Re-Examine Behavioral Issues
- Observing Behavior Using A-B-C Data
- Positive Behavior Supports Creating Meaningful Life Options for People with ASD
- Ten Steps Towards Supporting Appropriate Behavior
- The Challenge of Combining Competing Input in the Classroom
- "Your Attitude Just Might Be My Biggest Barrier"
- Applied Behavior Analysis: The Role of Task Analysis and Chaining
- Tips for Choosing a Provider for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
- What to Consider When Looking for a Qualified ABA Provider
- “If They Could Only Tell Me What They Are Thinking.” The Need for Augmentative Communication for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Assessment Day: Questions About the Communication Development of Your Young Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Aiding Comprehension of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders During One-on-One Interactions
- Can Social Pragmatic Skills Be Tested?
- Comprehension of the Message: Important Considerations for Following Directions
- First Steps and the Journey to a Diagnosis of ASD for a Child under Three
- Functional Categories of Delayed Echolalia
- Functional Categories of Immediate Echolalia
- Initial Guidelines for Developing a Communication Intervention Plan for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Significant Limitations in Communication Ability
- Long and Short Term Strategies for Reducing Specific Repetitive Questions
- Successfully Using PECS with Children with ASD
- Meeting the Challenge of Social Pragmatics with Students on the Autism Spectrum
- Opportunity to Communicate: A Crucial Aspect of Fostering Communication Development
- Reading with Your School-Age Child: Building Vocabulary One Word at a Time
- Social Communication and Language Characteristics Associated with High Functioning, Verbal Children and Adults with ASD
- The 21st Century Speech Language Pathologist and Integrated Services in Classrooms
- The High Functioning Person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: A "Tourist" in His Native Country
- The Role of the School Speech Language Pathologist and the Student with Autism
- Using a Visual Support to Enhance WH Question
- Visual Resources for Enhancing Communication for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Disabilities
- Visual Schedules and Choice Boards: Avoid Misinterpretation of their Primary Functions
- Visual Supports: Sources for Symbols for Receptive and Expressive Communication
- What is the Picture Exchange Communication System or PECS?
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- Articles - Communication
- PICO - A Decision Making Tool For Selecting Apps
- Helping Your Child to Develop Communication Skills
- Evidence-Based Practices for Effective Communication and Social Intervention
- Important Predictors
- The Use of Technology in Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Collaborative Teaming
- Educational Programming
- Academic Supports for College Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Advice from Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Teachers Regarding Literacy Instruction
- Advice for Peer Tutors
- Applying the Ziggurat and CAPS Model in Your School District
- Aspects of Support for Learning
- A Young Adult's Guide to Deep Breathing as a Relaxation Technique: A Personalized Fact Sheet
- Can Schedule Usage Training Include Elements of Literacy Instruction?
- Clean Up Your Act! Creating an Organized Classroom Environment for Students on the Spectrum.
- Change is Good! Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum when Introducing Novelty
- Classroom Choreography: The Art of Scheduling Staff and Students
- Creating a Circle of Support
- Complexities of Instructional Support
- Critical Features of Early Intervention: Merging Best Practices
- Developing Long Term Relationships Between School and Parents
- Early Intervention for Young Children on the Autism spectrum: Parent’s Perspective
- Educating Students with Autism: Are There Differences in Placement?
- Establishing Long Term Goals: What Are We Hoping to Achieve
- For General Education Teachers: Helpful Questions to Ask About Students with ASD
- Get Engaged: Designing Instructional Activities to Help Students Stay On-Task
- "Ham It Up and Get It Cookin!!" Thoughts From Dr. Greenspan
- Home-School Communication
- "I Can Do It Myself!" Using Work Systems to Build Independence in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- “I Wake Up for MY Dream!” Personal Futures Planning Circles of Support, MAPS and PATH
- Life After High School...So Now What
- Literacy Resources
- Lovaas Revisited: Should We Have Ever Left?
- Making the Most of Morning Meeting
- Motivating Students Who Have Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Moving from Preschool to Kindergarten: Planning for a Successful Transition and New Relationships
- Peer Support Programs
- Promoting the Educational Success of Students with Autism: The Role of the Parent-Staff Relationship
- Planning for Successful Transitions Across Grade Levels
- Practical Steps to Writing Individualized Education Program (IEP) Goals: And Writing Them Well
- Practical Recommendations for Utilizing a Range of Instructional Approaches in General Education Settings
- Recognizing Different Types of Readers with ASD
- Reframing Our Thinking and Getting to Know the Child
- Restricted Repertoires in Autism and What We Can Do About It
- School Cultures that Support Students Across the Autism Spectrum
- Service Learning: Something to Think About
- Supporting Staff Using Coaching Model
- Supporting Students with Asperger's Syndrome
- Teaching Students Who Are Low-Functioning: Who Are They and What Should We Teach?
- Theory of Mind in Autism: Development, Implications, and Intervention
- There is No Place Called Inclusion
- The Road to Post-Secondary Education: Questions to Consider
- Tips for Teaching High-Functioning People with Autism
- Tips to Consider When Including a Student with ASD in Art, Music, or Physical Education
- Transition: Preparing for a Lifetime
- Transition to Middle School
- Transition Time: Helping Individuals on the Autism Spectrum Move Successfully from One Activity to Another
- Understanding the Design and Power of a Personal Schedule
- Using Visual Schedules: A Guide for Parents
- Who Are We Working for Anyway? Avoiding Personal Agendas at Meetings to Better Support Individuals Across the Autism Spectrum
- Structured Teaching Strategies: A Series
- Growing Up Together
- How to Open A Combination Lock/Locker
- Supporting Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders Through Postsecondary Transition
- Curriculum Materials and Programs for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
- Implementation and Effectiveness of Using Video Self-Modeling with Students with ASD
- Video Self-Modeling How To and Examples
- Advocates: Qualities to Look for and Choosing the Correct One for YOU
- Considering an Overnight Camp Program for your Child on the Autism Spectrum?
- Finding or Starting a Support Group
- Making the Most of the Holidays for Your Family and Your Son/Daughter on the Autism Spectrum
- Selected Bibliography for Families of People within the Autism Spectrum
- Selected National Resources for Information on Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Selected Resources for Understanding and Supporting Siblings
- Setting the Stage for Parent-Professional Collaboration
- Siblings Perspectives: Some Guidelines for Parents
- What About the Dads?
- When Your Child is Diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- What to Do If You Suspect Your Son/Daughter Might Have an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- For Parents: Preparing for the School Year
- Self Help/Medical
- Teaching a Young Man to Shave
- An Introduction to Possible Biomedical Causes and Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders
- The "M" Word
- Mealtime and Children on the Autism Spectrum: Beyond Picky, Fussy, and Fads
- Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite:
- Taking Your Son/Daughter with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to the Dentist
- Teaching a Young Woman to Shave
- Anxiety and Panic Struggles
- Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Having THE Talk with Your Child with ASD
- General Information
- Assessment Processes for Autism Spectrum Disorders: Purpose and Procedures
- Autism Awareness Month: Facts and Tips for Working with Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
- Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Diagnostic Criteria for Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder
- Disability Information for Someone who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Customized Example
- Getting Started: Introducing Your Child to His or Her Diagnosis of Autism or Asperger Syndrome
- Increasing Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders Continues in Indiana
- Standardized Tests and Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Article 7, Title 511
- What’s in a Name: Our Only Label Should Be Our Name: Avoiding the Stereotypes
- For Physicians: Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders and Working with Schools
- Behavioral Issues and the Use of Social Stories
- How to “Lose the Training Wheels:” A New Way to Teach Bicycle Riding
- Living in Fear: Anxiety in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Local Community Resources to Enhance Activities
- Making (and Keeping) Friends: A Model for Social Skills Instruction
- Making Camps Accessible for All
- Play in the Lives of Young Children with Autism
- Play Time: An Examination Of Play Intervention Strategies for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Social Activity Groups: Another Approach for Helping to Bridge the Friendship Gap
- Teaching Social Skills through Theatre
- The Collective Outcomes of School-Based Social Skill Interventions for Children on the Autism Spectrum
- The Value of Movement Activities for Young Children
- We All Need Exercise
- Finding a Friend in School
- Bullying and Students on the Autism Spectrum
- Incorporating Typical Peers Into the Social Learning of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Articles by Temple Grandin
- An Inside View of Autism
- Choosing the Right Job for People with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome
- Evaluating the Effects of Medication
- Genius May Be an Abnormality: Educating Students with Asperger's Syndrome, or High Functioning Autism
- Making the Transition from the World of School into the World of Work
- Social Problems: Understanding Emotions and Developing Talents
- Teaching Tips for Children and Adults with Autism
Making Camps Accessible for All
Contributed by Kim Davis
Families of children with an autism spectrum disorder are often faced with the dilemma of what to do over the summer. Where can my child go? What can he/she do? The answer is... just about anything, anywhere. And if a child is included in general education settings during the school year, why shouldn't that child be given the opportunity and chance to be included with those same classmates and friends during the summer at the same camps or activity programs? Just because it has not been done or thought of previously, does not mean it can't be an option now.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) "gives civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and federal government services, and telecommunications." Furthermore, public accommodations which include day care centers, private schools, recreation centers, restaurants, hotels, movie theaters and banks must comply with Title III of the ADA (United States Department of Justice, Commonly Asked Questions About Child Care Centers and the ADA). Activities controlled by religious organizations are not covered in Title III. However, activities that are operating on the premises of religious organizations are generally not exempt from Title III.
The requirements that apply to child-care centers can be applied to recreation programs or camps since they are considered "public accommodations." Below are the basic requirements of Title III related to public accommodations. (Centers in this article refers to all public accommodations, including camps and recreation programs.)
- Centers cannot exclude children with disabilities unless their presence would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others or require a fundamental alteration of the program.
- Centers have to make reasonable modifications to their policies and practices to integrate children, parents, and guardians with disabilities into their programs unless doing so would constitute a fundamental alteration.
- Centers must provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services needed for effective communication with children or adults with disabilities when doing so would not constitute an undue burden.
- Centers must generally make their facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. Existing facilities are subject to the readily achievable standard for barrier removal, while newly constructed facilities and any altered portions of existing facilities must be fully accessible.
Programs cannot just assume that a child's disabilities are too severe for the child to be integrated successfully into the program. An individualized assessment must be done to determine if the particular needs of the child can be met without fundamentally altering the program. In making this assessment, the program providers must not react to unfounded preconceptions or stereotypes about what children with disabilities can or cannot do, or how much assistance they may require. This may mean talking with parents or guardians, or the child to discern what the options are for that particular individual.
Children who may have challenging behaviors are especially difficult to support. Some programs want to expel children who hit or bite others. The ADA suggests that first the program should work with the parents to see if there are reasonable ways of curbing the child's behavior. He may need extra naps, more instruction, or changes in diet or medication. If reasonable efforts have been made and the child continues the challenging behaviors, he may be expelled from the program even if he has a disability. The ADA does not require providers to take any action that would pose a direct threat—a substantial risk of serious harm—to the health or safety of others. It should be remembered that each child is unique. Simply because one child with a specific diagnosis acts in challenging ways does not mean that other children with the same diagnosis will act in the same manner. That is discrimination.
Medications, lack of toilet training, HIV or AIDS, mental retardation, life threatening allergies, diabetes, children with leg braces, and others are covered under ADA. These factors cannot be reasons to exclude anyone. There are precautions and training that can increase the comfort level of those who provide services. Education and information are powerful, and can alleviate the fears that often are the real reason people are excluded or experience discrimination.
Playgrounds are also covered in Title III stating that even if programs do not have children with disabilities enrolled presently, they have the ongoing obligation to remove barriers to promote access. Architectural barriers that limit the participation of children with disabilities must be removed if removing those barriers is readily achievable. Barrier removal is readily achievable if it can be easily accomplished and carried out without much difficulty and expense.
Although Indiana does have many "special summer camps" for children with various disabilities, some families may wonder if their child should or could attend other camps; camps that are not just for "special" children. Special camps may have staff who have had some experience or training regarding the specific disability or possibly some behavior support techniques. However, that training does not give them information about your specific child, his or her likes, dislikes, fears or frustrations. Those trainings may provide general information, but tells them nothing about who your child actually is as a human being. While there may be benefits to attending a camp that is especially designed for children with specific disabilities, there may also be many benefits from attending other camps.
Children with autism spectrum disorders can attend regular camps with other children and be successful, if camp staff are open and willing to receive some basic training in autism spectrum disorders. Many times a general overview along with some information about teaching strategies can provide the staff with enough confidence to begin to include these children. Sharing information with camp staff about the strengths, preferences, and interests of your son or daughter allows them to focus on their abilities rather than the challenges. All too often only the challenges are shared; the hard issues are highlighted so that the child is preceded by a "reputation" that may not be the whole picture.
Activities may be adapted or modified to promote your child's success and involvement in any camp. ADA is in place to ensure that accommodations happen everywhere, including camps. Below are possible accommodations:
Provide routines that are somewhat consistent.
Each day has scheduled activities at a camp. Be sure routines are explained to the individual daily. These routines may serve to comfort the individual and lessen anxiety.
Present visual schedules to help the individual understand the routine.
Providing a visual schedule each morning of the days events can assist the camper in knowing what to expect as the day progresses. For example, write out or have pictures of the various activity sites and put them on a schedule board attached with velcro. As the camper moves through the day, the activities can be removed from the board so they know what has been done and what is next.
Warn of any transitions or changes.
Using the visual schedule as support, point out the next activity and verbally tell the camper what will be happening next. Allow them time to process the information as well as prepare themselves for transitions or schedule changes which can be challenging in many ways for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
Consistently use the child's communication system. When necessary, provide training on how to use it properly.
Communication is key for everyone. If students come with any form of augmentative communication such as picture boards, signing, facilitated communication, written language or other means, all staff should learn how to use that system. Their communication system should always be available to the camper and they should be encouraged to use it throughout the day.
State limits, boundaries and rules to provide clear and consistent expectations.
Any boundaries, rules, or limits should be made clear to each camper by using their visual schedule board, their communication system, or by using other means available. By telling them how long they will be in the canoe, how many campfire songs they will sing or how many pine cones to glue on the cardboard, the campers will know exactly what is expected and there will be less chance for misunderstandings. The use of time limits or visual notations of "how much, how many or how long" is helpful in most circumstances.
Finally, consider the following when designing accommodations around specific activities.
Amount and type of materials that are preferred by the individual:
Does the camper prefer crayons or colored pencils? Will 10 colors be used for the art project or 3? Will the colors be in paint, pencil or chalk? What type of paper does the camper prefer?
How instructions are given to the individual:
Are verbal instructions enough or does the camper need visual cues through writing, pictures, or models or is physical assistance needed to begin?
The level of participation one should expect:
Will the camper participate in the full 30 minutes of the swimming lesson or only be required to be there for 10? What do they have available if they leave? Can they be on the basketball court with their team and run up and down the court without handling the ball? Are they allowed to simply sit with the group for activities that are more challenging for them?
How much support is required:
Do they need to have an adult there to get them involved? Can peers offer more natural support throughout the day? If peers offer support, they should have additional support offered to them.
There is no magic answer! Just as it is important to get to know each individual who attends any camp, the same holds true for children with autism spectrum disorders. Help staff learn the positive aspects of your child, what reinforces him or her, what their interests are, what they are good at doing, as well as other issues that might arise. Help them to understand the strategies that calm your child, or what to do when your son or daughter is having a difficult time. The best thing you can do is openly communicate with staff well ahead of time. The more people know, the less they will fear. As many of us have learned, there really is nothing to fear, just a lot to understand.
Davis, K. (2000). Making camps accessible for all. The Reporter, 5(3), 1-6.