As we have seen from the parent stories being told here, going out of a child's comfort zone and into a public place brings up a range of difficulties for families living with autism. This has a significant impact on families being able to go on holidays.
As Mary says on her website, "We had stopped taking holidays with our kids as it become too much of a concern. We would be more stressed on holidays than at home. We worried our kids would keep others awake. We wondered if other kids would harm or bully them."
But she and her husband did not stop there. They decided to find out whether other families felt the same, and whether they could do something about it.
The answer to both questions was, "Yes!"... and Camp Autism was born.
Camp Autism is all about giving families living with ASDs the opportunity to relax and unwind in a supportive and non-judgemental context. As stated on their website,
"The aim of Camp Autism Inc is to provide respite to these families ... We hope families will build support networks with other families for mutual support, information sharing, and fellowship."
Camp Autism camps happen around the country - in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. They sell out quickly, so get in early!
You can find a list of camps coming up here. The next available camp is happening on the 14th-16th of May in Geelong, Victoria. All the booking details are on the Camp Autism website.
Want to know what happens at the camp? See some photos here: http://www.campautism.org/photo01.html
Want to know more?
Contact Camp Autism on info @ campautism.org