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Camping Program for Children with ASD

Briefly describe the activity and its purpose.

Camp Rising Sun (CRS) is the Center for Development and Disability's summer residential camping program for children ages 8-17 years who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It provides a safe environment for campers to explore new activities, foster social interactions, increase independence, and, most importantly, have fun.

Graduate students from a variety of UNM disciplines including occupational therapy, physical therapy, special education, and speech and hearing sciences attend camp as counselors and receive graduate course credit. The course is taught by a LEND faculty member.

CRS provides an exceptional opportunity for hands-on learning and professional development in a real-life context. The interdisciplinary team of professionals contributes to the success of this camp by designing a structured camp curriculum tailored to meet the individual needs of children with autism spectrum disorder. 

What are the expected learning outcomes for trainees?

Students gain skill in knowing the characteristics of autism spectrum disorder, evidence-based practices to foster social skills and behavior management techniques. Camp also allows future professionals to have a "real look" at what it might be like to work and live with children with ASD.

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