Parents Value the TRACE Autism Summer Camp

Friday, August 31, 2012

“They have been motivated to learn and use social skills that they can carry over to their home, school, and community,” says Janice Fletcher of the experience her two sons had at TRACE Camp, which is put on by the Tyndale Research in Autism and Community Education (TRACE) organization. TRACE, a not-for-profit organization, puts on two one-week summer camps and a spring break camp for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their typical peers.

TRACE is run by Assistant Professor of Psychology, Dr. Amanda Morgan Azarbehi and conducts autism research with Tyndale’s Psychology program and offers autism intervention services. “I heard a lot about it from Dr. Azarbehi and knew that she would have a very good social skills building environment,” says Janice. “I liked the reverse integration aspect and am always looking for ways to help typical children learn more about children with Autism.”

TRACE Camps are designed so that there are many typical peers interacting with the autistic children. Autistic children in the camps get the benefit of a one-to-one staff to student ratio and the benefit of learning from their peers.

“My typical kid will learn how to interact with his brother,” says Maureen, the mother of a 6-year-old with ASD and a nine-year-old typical peer in the TRACE camp. “He will learn how to be more caring, not only with his brother, but with people in public.” Maureen enrolled her six-year-old in the camp last summer and returned again this summer with his older brother. “This is a place I can trust. They have a good program and caring staff. It is a summer camp and a learning opportunity. For typical kids it is an opportunity to learn about special needs. I would definitely recommend TRACE Camp and I have recommended it to some of my friends already.”

In addition to daily social skills training, the camp has outings to places like the Science Centre and the Toronto Zoo. With games, trips to the park, sports, crafts, and outings, TRACE Camps emphasize learning social skills in a fun environment.

“We wanted him to get a similar experience in a day camp that our other neuro-typical son was able to have during the summer,” explains Ryan Klassen about why he sent his eight-year-old son to TRACE Camp. “The variety of experience, peer interaction and one-on-one work with student leaders are the key benefits Caden receives from TRACE. We have found that exposing Caden to new experiences in a controlled manner helps develop the skills he needs to handle unexpected experiences.”


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