We are so excited to announce our summer camps that will take place during June and July of 2022! The goal of our summer programs is to provide therapeutic interventions in a camp format targeting key skill areas. Unlike summer tutoring or individualized therapy, we designed our camps to be group based to work on social, emotional, and self-regulation skills in both structured and unstructured ways.
We chose to target the key skill areas of play, social interaction, emotional regulation, and executive functioning because in our experience, those areas are often addressed formally or informally, rarely both. For example, targeting social skills by teaching specific social expectations does not ensure the child can do what is being taught in every situation. We often find children with autism and other behavior disorders able to explain specific social expectations or norms, but struggle when it comes time to show the skill. Knowing what to do in a social situation only goes so far. You need to be able to do it! For children under the age of 6, we are offering a play and social program that will meet over the course of 5 weeks.
This often happens in the area of emotional and self-regulation. We see children able to talk about coping skills, but are unable to cope when they become frustrated or angry. In the past decade, there have been numerous advances in the area of social and emotional regulation that teach children more preventative ways to stay calm. The goal is no longer just to "cope," but to increase overall happiness and well-being. We are excited to share that strategies with our campers!
Another key skill area that is rarely addressed is executive functioning. Executive functioning refers to the set of skills that enables us to start and finish a task: such as organizing, planning, paying attention, being able to troubleshoot, and keeping track of what you are doing. These skills may impact a child from showing all the great knowledge that they know and need to be worked on together. It is one thing to work on a child paying attention more, but paying attention is only part of the set of skills needed to independently accomplish a task. We will work on executive functioning through project-based learning based on a special interest of each camper.
We are excited to offer something new to the Mahoning Valley region and cannot wait to get started!