Many individuals with social communication challenges are tested by everyday social interactions that are crucial to navigating life. Neurodiverse profiles like Asperger’s, ASD, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disability (“NVLD”), among others, can present significant obstacles to an individual obtaining the social and emotional fluency that is often learned outside of school and home.
Even if these individuals receive additional social skills support, it is often presented and practiced in an environment that does not mimic everyday or real time social situations. Camp, by contrast, offers in vivo social skills coaching and feedback in an immersive, structured, and supportive community.
Summer camps are often life changing for any individual, regardless of their social and emotional profile. For neurodiverse children and young adults, camp is uniquely positioned to be a transformative force in their lives. Yet, many neurodiverse individuals are often unable to access camp due to the great financial burden special needs services present to their families.
The difficulty connecting with their peers and navigating a complex social world hinders these individuals’ capacity to engage with others, and often leaves them feeling socially isolated and depressed. These often underserved individuals are creative, passionate, and capable of making tremendous contributions to their communities, when given the tools to cultivate and share their gifts and talents.
POISE provides financial assistance to those who demonstrate need, allowing them to attend camps that teach and practice necessary social and life skills in supportive environments, while still celebrating each child’s uniqueness and strengths. Non-academic, summer-based programs help individuals feel valued and connected, build self-esteem, facilitate supportive relationships, and instill core values. Only through the help of POISE can our campership recipients benefit from such magical—and critically life changing - summer experiences. By enabling neurodiverse youth to attend camps which focus on delivering 21st Century skills to exceptional individuals, POISE helps to unlock their vast human potential.