- Outings to fun places around Vancouver
- Time spent with like-minded peers
- Games and casual sports that mix learning with laughter
- Positive feedback about personal strengths and new skills
- Happy memories of a summer spent with friends
- 12 hours of therapy per week
- A low staff to camper ratio of 1:4 and 1:! ratio for campers with higher needs
- Group leaders and directors who are invested in each camper's success
- Measurable progress at and away from camp
- Time with camp directors to discuss lessons and supporting skills at home
We are pleased to say that 80% of our campers return to join us year after year.
The top 10 reasons why we love Summer Social:
10. Our child - normally as friendly in the mornings as a grizzly bear in the middle of hibernation season - voluntarily gets out of bed before 8 a.m. on Summer Social days.
9. When we double-check at the breakfast table: yes, this is indeed our child who got up and dressed without prompting, and who is now warning me not to be late.
8. The Summer Social instructors! They are so welcoming and friendly!!
7. The location! Central, lots of ways to get there even with the construction, and a handy park for siblings nearby!
6. Katie and Jenny! They are so creative, hard-working and great! We wish we could do Summer Social all the time!
5. The Summer Social instructors! They pick great outings!
4. Carpooling! Travelling with peers causes our son to say "Mom, I am big now. I can wait on the front porch by myself."
3. The treats are great!
2. The Summer Social instructors! We don't want to sound repetitive, but they are so smart, quick on their feet, and ready to handle anything - and we can only imagine they have seen anything and everything. But they are still smiling and friendly at the end of the day! In their shoes, we would be somewhere near the bottom of a bottle of 12-year old Scotch! How do they do it??!!
1. And the number 1 reason why we LOVE Summer Social is:
When you are the parent of a child with autism, you spend a lot of your time saying no, withholding treats in exchange for good behaviour, and generally trying to shape and control your child so that they can function in the big wide world. Much of what you ask them to do, they find hard or strongly dislike.
With Summer Social, we finally get to say "yes" to something our son loves - and we get to accomplish all the behavioural goals at the same time. Our guy is thrilled to go. He feels like a big kid. He gets to be independent. He gets to make lots of choices. And he gets the great feeling that comes when you belong to a group of other kids, instead of always wanting to join in, and not knowing quite how to get there.
THANK YOU, Summer Social Instructors, and Jenny, and Katie! You ROCK!!
Andrea, North Vancouver
We are pleased to say that 80% of our campers return to join us year after year. Click here to read testimonials from past campers.
"Joel's smile at the end of each day of Summer Social Camp was priceless. He enjoyed rides at Playland that his older brothers were scared of and he experienced his first go-cart ride, first paint ball and his first taste of the Vancouver bus system. Each day provided epic experiences that he can now draw upon because "he did it!". He has picked up social skills, learned how to place his legs to look "normal" when standing in a group, or how to answer a peer's question with a slight head nod. I cannot speak highly enough of the outstanding leadership that accepts, encourages, and challenges him. A superb opportunity is provided for personal growth."
"My son has been identified as gifted but with significant social skills delays, at first as a three-year-old, by a developmental pediatrician, and later in a formal psych-ed assessment done by the ABLE Developmental clinic when he was seven years old. He has not been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.
School in the public system has been very frustrating for us, since the school essentially refused to adjust his curriculum to meet his intellectual needs, unless we first "fixed" his social skills deficit. Yet the school system was unable to provide any assistance to us in this regard.
Summer social camp and the Social Thinking methodology taught by Jenny Gorton-Sojat is the only thing I have found, which truly gives me hope that my son will eventually be able to function relatively normally and comfortably in the social world. Jenny and Kate seemed to understand my son almost before they met him, and their feedback and descriptions of the issues and challenges they faced and addressed in all their students, gave me names for the problems we have struggled with, and, more importantly, tools to help us continue the progress they made with our son in his time at camp. They were also very good at recognizing the children's strengths, and building on the positives they helped to foster with a fun and engaging, yet simple and practical approach.
I would heartily recommend this camp for any family whose child struggles to understand or navigate the social world. Like my son, many of the kids in this camp were very bright in many ways, but all of them face social skills challenges. These are not problems that are easy to solve, but the Social Thinking approach does more than simply model good behavior or tell kids to "be respectful" or "act appropriately" - it helps children and their parents to understand the reasons underlying social-situation struggles, and concretizes abstract and difficult concepts that these children simply cannot intuit as most of the rest of us do."
Parent of son entering grade 4; name withheld by request