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Day Camp for Children with Autism

McDonough County children with autism might get more recreational opportunities if a pilot day camp is successful.

The Special Recreation Association will offer the camp August 6-10. It's open to children from kindergarten through third-grade who have autism.

Program Coordinator Nikki Gray says the staff will tailor the camp to meet the unique needs of the children The staff  will meet with each child and their parents or caregivers.

She says, “They'll involve really focusing on transitions in between activities because that seems to be a struggle with a  lot of our participants. It's just kind of characteristic of autism.”

The camp will also provide plenty of exercise and a chance to practice social skills.

Gray says the events won't be competitive but will give the children a chance to see their own improvement in skills.

Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist Rachel Lenz says the structure will differ from a typical day camp.

She says “Arts and crafts work sometimes with youth with autism. But for the most part, you have to be up and moving and keeping their interest.”

Gray says the camp will be held in Cuba because it has ”fantastic resources.” The camp will meet from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Parents will have to provide transportation for their children to and from the camp each day.