Organized by: Allison Randel
About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Further, it has been found throughout the literature that children with ASD and ADHD tend to be more overweight and less active than their peers.
Camp P.A.L.S. is a sports and social skills camp for children and adolescents with social skills deficits (including but not limited to ADHD, Autism, Aspergers, Anxiety, and Learning Disabilities). This year will be a pilot year for the camp, and we will be gathering data for research purposes in hopes to write a bigger grant for next year. Camp P.A.L.S. will incorporate evidenced based and theory driven interventions to promote these skills and will include two blocks of social skills, two blocks of physical activity, and a nutrition block each day. We will also have a parent informational session every other week to generalize the skills the children learn in camp to their natural environment.
Allison Randel, Psy,D., postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr. Karen Lake, will be the Director of the camp. Michaela Shenkelberg MPH, exercise science Ph.D. candidate, and Spencer Babb B.A. will also have leadership roles in the camp. Together, they have years of experience working with children and adolescents with ASD, ADHD, and other social skills deficits. Allison also currently runs a social skills group in the area that has been very successful.
Our goal as the Camp P.A.L.S. team is to enhance physical activity, self-esteem, friendship building, and overall emotional well-being of campers and to bring a much needed service to Columbia, South Carolina.
What We Need
The Autism Society of South Carolina has donated $500 for five children to go to camp for one week each. We are planning to match this very generous donation, in order to have these children come for the mandatory two week period at no cost.
If we do not reach our goal, we will give the families partial scholarships to help offset the cost of camp.
If donations exceed our funding goal, we will be able to provide additional scholarships for campers!
Although Camp P.A.L.S. is a for-profit camp, most of the money we recieve will go towards paying for camping materials such as the games, arts, and crafts we will be using and also to the training and development of our volunteers.
Therapy and other outside services for children with ASD and other social skills deficits can be very costly. Not every family who would significantly benefit from Camp P.A.L.S. can afford to send their child, and we hope to be able to support these families in any way that we can. While it is our goal to build up funds over the next year and to write a grant to further reduce the cost of camp, we unfortunately do not have those funds for this year.
Every donation will be appreciated, and it will go to help families of children who need social skills development and increased physical activity.
Other Ways You Can Help
Some people just can't contribute, but that doesn't mean you can't help:
Please share our campaign with your friends!
Volunteer opportunities are available for the camp, and we are also interested in accepting healthy food choices. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org