From pirate adventures to walking with dinosaurs, exciting theme-based activities await children with autism during EMU's Summer Splash camps.

by Pamela Young, Published May 01, 2014

YPSILANTI - It’s time for camp! The Autism Collaborative Center (ACC) at Eastern Michigan University will host its 2014 Summer Splash camps, designed especially for children ages 3-12 on the autism spectrum. The seven different camps will run for one week each throughout the summer, starting June 30 at the Perry Early Learning Center, 550 Perry St. in Ypsilanti.


The sessions provide a structured environment for children with autism and are designed to help increase confidence in the children; help to develop independence; and provide peer interaction and positive role modeling by adults. Daily activities and exercise are also included.

The overall staff-to-child ratio is 1 to 3, with variations based on the level of need and to promote functional independence. Outdoor water play and special theme-related activities such as songs, crafts and other activities will be incorporated into each week’s programming.

The sessions are:

  •  Week I: American Pride, June 30 to July 3
  •  Week 2: Walking with Dinosaurs, July 7-11
  •  Week 3: Medieval Times, July 14-18
  • Week 4: Exploring Michigan, July 21 – July 25
  •  Week 5: Pirate Adventure, July 28 – August 1
  • Week 6: Calling All Zoologists, August 4-8
  • Week 7: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Blast Off!  August 11-15

Children ages 3-5 attend the morning session, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon. Children ages 6-8 years will be in the afternoon section, from 1-4 p.m. Older children, from 9 to 12 years old, can attend one or both sessions.

Each weekly session costs $270 plus a $40 registration fee.  Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration fee is waived for children signed up for four or more weeks. There is a 10-percent discount for two or more children enrolled from the same family.

The non-profit Autism Collaborative Center offers a team of professionals and highly trained students from various departments at Eastern Michigan University. Services range from music therapy and occupational therapy to speech therapy and dietetics.

“What sets the EMU Center apart from most private clinics is its emphasis on family,” said Kris Kastle, managing director of the ACC. “The disorder affects every single member of the family. The best intervention one can give toward a child is to support the parents in their parenting role and their understanding of autism and autism intervention.”

Kastle notes that the staff also emphasizes the importance of organizing resources to reduce the burden for families dealing with this disorder.

For more information about the SPLASH camps, contact the Autism Collaboration Center at 734-487-2890 or go to



Pamela Young

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