UCP Launches Campaign to Help Kids with Autism Go to Camp
Community can donate to give kids with autism inclusion experience

News

Fifteen children with autism will have the chance to attend summer camp with the help of the community. UCP of Sacramento and Northern California, which empowers people with developmental disabilities to live life without limits, is seeking donations to help children ages 8-12 with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder attend A.C.E. Camp this summer at Grizzly Creek Ranch in Portola. To donate, visit http://www.ucpsacto.org/acecamp/index.html

All 15 campers have been learning the skills to interact with other children with autism, as well as typically developing children, at UCP’s Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State. A.C.E. Camp will give them the chance to put those skills into practice.

“Summer camp is a rite of passage, and we want to make sure all kids have the chance to enjoy this experience, regardless of having a developmental disability,” said Doug Bergman, president and CEO, UCP of Sacramento and Northern California. “This is a great opportunity for the community to get involved and help these kids not only enjoy camp, but become involved members of their community instead of feeling isolated.”

A.C.E. campers will learn swimming, arts and crafts, kayaking, archery, volleyball, scooter hockey, fishing, soccer and dancing. They also will have a movie night, campfire time and a talent show, as well as the chance to build on the skills they learn throughout the year.

A.C.E. Camp costs $1,350 per child, but families are only charged $600. UCP relies on the community to fund the remaining $750 per child.

“When my son, Sam, attended A.C.E. Camp, he didn’t want the week to end,” said Jeri Krajewski of Folsom. “He said he felt ready to learn and try things. A.C.E. Camp also prepared him to attend Boy Scout Camp, a dream of his. We couldn’t be more thankful.”

A.C.E. Camp compliments UCP’s Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State, which includes an interdisciplinary team of occupational therapists, speech therapists, adaptive physical activity specialists and behavioral analysts. During the school year, participants, ages 8-12, take part in a large group activity to practice communication skills before dividing into smaller groups that help them see the inter-relatedness of the people in their lives. Parents are then instructed on techniques to use at home.

Each month, UCP of Sacramento and Northern California serves 2,600 children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families in Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Shasta, Sutter and Yolo counties. Programs include Saddle Pals adaptive horseback riding, UCP’s Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State, adult day programs, independent living services, transportation and in-home respite care for families. The group has a high efficiency rate with 91 cents of every dollar going directly to programs. For more information, visit www.ucpsacto.org.