NORMAL, Ill. — “Kids can be kids over here,” said Paul, a summer camper with the Unit 5 Autism Summer Camp Program.
Campers bring the energy and fun to Parkside Junior High in Normal every day through June and July.
“They are so excited to see their friends again because staying in that school routine can be a positive experience for the kids,” said Ashleigh Gibler, Summer Camp Director.
And the best part? It’s geared for students throughout the district who have autism.
“It gives them an opportunity to practice those social skills that we work on in school in real life settings,” said Gibler.
So while they’re learning every day, what’s summer camp without making some memories?
“It’s awesome. You can be anything. We are gonna have water fun time outside we already went bowling it’s pretty awesome!!” said Paul.
So on days where it’s “pretty awesome,” it’s getting kids immersed in the community. And at the end of the day when it’s time to go home, families are benefiting too.
“It’s so helpful for our students to stay in school routines that I think that carries over to the home experience for kids and just helps them to have a more positive experience at home and school,” said Gibler.
If you’re interested in learning more about the program, you can head here: https://www.unit5.org/Page/14585