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A Summer of Learning

Like many parents with autistic children, Lisa Taylor worries about finding appropriate summer time experiences for her 12-year old daughter Nat. “Every year we struggle to find a place where Nat has a chance to be with her typically developing peers,” says Lisa. This year, Nat was part of the East Shore Branch’s summer camp program.
Nat was accompanied by Kristeana, her Therapeutic Staff Support. Mom says, “I was always anxious to hear Kristeana’s reports each day. First, I was relieved, and secondly, I was thrilled that Nat had a fun experience during a camp activity or field trip.” Kristeana occasionally forwarded camp photos to mom, who says, “The smile on Nat’s face said it all!” and adds, “Those photos are precious to me.”
But Nat was not the only camper to benefit. As Kristeana notes, YMCA camp was also learning experience for the others kids that were not familiar with autism. “They had the opportunity to learn how to socialize and be friends with a child with special needs,” she explained.
Kristeana offered words of praise to the camp staff, who, she said, “did a great job and were understanding of accommodations that had to be made to fit Nat’s skill level.”
Natalie especially enjoyed taking walks to City Island, going on field trips and swimming.
Lisa is grateful for her daughter’s positive camp experience. She told Senior Child Care Director Kelly Campbell, “We are thankful to you and all the YMCA family for welcoming Nat into summer camp.”

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