Summer Matters™ Launches New Summer L.I.F.E. Day and Overnight Camp Options for Students with High-Functioning Autism/Asperger’s

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Children and young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome can experience the carefree fun of traditional overnight camp thanks to a new Summer L.I.F.E. camp program option Valley Forge Educational Services’ Summer Matters™ division is offering for the first time this summer on a 90-acre site in Schwenksville, PA.

“Continuing a routine and having to interact with other students is very important to children with special needs, said Holly Zipperer, Director of Summer Programs Valley Forge Educational Services.

Children and young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome can experience the carefree fun of traditional overnight camp thanks to a new Summer L.I.F.E. camp program option Valley Forge Educational Services’ Summer Matters™ division is offering for the first time this summer on a 90-acre site in Schwenksville, PA.

The overnight camp (a day camp option is also available) will offer traditional camp games and activities, including fishing, swimming and boating on the site’s spring-fed lake, games, arts and crafts and environmental education. Designed especially to support students with high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger’s Syndrome, ages 10-21, the camp offers experienced staff, on-site behavior support, low camper-to-counselor ratios, small-group activities and structured daily programming.

In addition to the Traditional Day and Overnight camp, Summer L.I.F.E. also offers weeklong specialty camps and travel excursions which use student interests as a springboard to learning. Specialty camps, offered in areas like horseback riding, computer programming, and cooking draw on students’ passions and affinities and allow them to practice behavioral and social skills in a strengths-based context. As with all Summer L.I.F.E. camps, programs are taught by professionals with expertise in the field and supported by staff experienced in working with the ASD population.

Travel excursions in July and August offer students the opportunity to gain independence, build relationships with each other and take risks in a supportive environment. Travel trips also offer respite to caregivers.

Holly Zipperer, Valley Forge Educational Services’ Director of Summer Programs, was recently interviewed by WHYY’s Behavioral Health Desk about the importance of maintaining students’ social and behavioral skills over the summer. Summer L.I.F.E. camps can complement a child’s Extended School Year (ESY) program, providing additional weeks of structure, learning and fun. Camps are offered in August after most ESY programs end.

To learn more about Summer L.I.F.E.’s offerings for Summer 2011, visit the website http://www.summermatters.org or read more about VFES’ vision for summer learning.

About Valley Forge Educational Services:

Valley Forge Educational Services offers a wide variety of educational services focused on guiding learners to independence. VFES provides educational solutions for young children, adolescents and pre-21 adults ranging from K-12 school-based and summer programs to post high school (18-21) transition skills programming to clinical consultation services. VFES also offers professional support to organizations, schools and families through the Luma Center™ for Development and Learning, Summer Matters™, Vanguard School, Vanguard Transition Center and Professional Development and Parent Learning Series. For more than 50 years, Valley Forge Educational Services has been dedicated to improving specialized education through innovative research and advanced practices for students, parents, educators, professionals and organizations. For more information on Valley Forge Educational Services, please visit http://www.vfes.net.

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Holly Henry
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