Every summer since 1984, children and young adults (6 to 21 years) with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have had the opportunity to attend a multi-week full-day program during the summer months. This unique program, now called the Bruce Awad Summer Program, offers daily support and provides a one-to-one ratio of student to staff which is vital to the success of the program. Individuals with autism often require structure and a consistent daily routine--the program is designed with this in mind. Emphasis is placed on communication, socialization, behaviour management, daily living skills, while also providing community outings and recreational activities.
Families have come to depend on this program for much needed respite during the long summer school break. They are comfortable knowing their children's needs are being met in a safe, fun, and caring environment. It's also reassuring for them to know that their children will continue to learn and maintain their skills as well as being able to participate in community activities and have fun with their peers.
The program is divided into small classrooms much like a regular school. Each classroom has 5 to 8 students and offers one-to-one support. With the help of a support worker, the students are able to work on table tasks, arts and crafts, math and language and other academic skills. Most afternoons the students enjoy a community outing to participate in activities such a bowling, gymnastics and mini golf. Three afternoons per week they swim at community pools or visit area splash pads. Some days, they work on life skills, like cooking, shopping and housekeeping.
Because of the high student to support worker ratio, the cost of the program is significant. The cost to provide a single classroom for six weeks is approximately $35,000. This includes staffing and training, supplies, facility and pool rentals and busing to activities.
Help us continue to provide this much needed and community valued program by donating to support a classroom. Every dollar raised will go directly to the program.
For more information about Autism Services Inc. and the Bruce Awad Summer Program please visit our website at www.autismservicesinc.com.