Camp Offers Social Skills, Fun and Peace

Springfield, VA has a special camp for kids with autism.  The camp is called Camp Shalom – the Hebrew word for peace.  This is appropriate, since the communication skills being taught are those that help kids grow in a happy and peaceful way.

The skills being taught are friendly behaviors, sharing, taking turns and making conversation.  These skills are taught in the morning in small groups so the lessons are not overwhelming, and then in the afternoon, the kids get a chance to use their skills in a bigger group.

The camp’s mission is to help children with high-functioning autism, ADD, ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome improve their social skills.  The camp tries to teach skills that will help these children for a lifetime, as they move from where they are now to adulthood, so that they will be successful. 

Camp Shalom offers activities including art projects, water sports and even trips to the National Zoo.  In addition, there are additional activities for the older children including going to the grocery store and purchasing the necessary items for lunch, and then returning to camp and each child making their own sack lunch, an important life skill.  The children then work on social skills by taking their sack lunches to the park and having a picnic together.

Additional skills that are addressed include impulse-control and anger management.  Some children have issues with these areas, and Camp Shalom helps teach them how to deal with and overcome them over time by learning anger management, stress management and relaxation techniques.

With many of the issues that children with autism – and their families – have to face, having an organization like Camp Shalom is a wonderful way to bring some peace into their lives.

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