2015 Proposal: Alaska Center for Collaborative Child Therapy

Name of Nonprofit Organization: The Alaska Center for Collaborative Child Therapy doing business as Adam’s Camp

Women’s Giving Circle Sponsor: Margaret Kossler

Short Project Description:

Critical to the success of Adam’s Camp Alaska’s therapy is a site serving multiple functions:  as the location for an overnighter for campers, as a workplace and housing for therapists, and as the family orientation meeting place.  Adam’s Camp asks for $3,600 to rent a Girdwood house for this purpose.

The Big Why:

According to the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, 10.5% of children in Alaska have special needs.  Adam’s Camp Alaska serves children with autism and their families by providing a multidisciplinary therapy model including speech, occupational, art, music and behavioral therapists to address each child’s special needs.  Our innovative, intensive therapy programs group five children with four to five therapists for five days to achieve incredible behavioral and social gains.  Through seminars and other planned activities, Adam’s Camp Alaska provides educational, recreational, and respite opportunities for the entire family.  Parents are provided resources, encouragement, and a sense of renewal and hope as they interact with other families.  A sibling program, offered at no additional charge, provides other children in the family an opportunity to interact with other siblings living in homes impacted by autism.  Their program includes recreational activities, arts and crafts, and opportunities to share feelings that are unique to their situation in a safe environment.

By providing a multidisciplinary therapy model, and by caring for the entire family, Adam’s Camp Alaska is able to make a positive and lasting change in families of children impacted by autism.  These positive changes are often accomplished through trying new things.  For instance, the campers participate in an overnight sleepover with their peers and the therapists.  For many, this is the first time the camper has been away from their family for the night, and it provides an opportunity to build self-confidence, communication, and social skills.  Another part of the camp’s program includes an hour-long conference for each family with the team of therapists at the end of camp.  Families are then provided a digital book documenting the week and providing recommendations for future additional therapy and activities.

The Bottom Line:

Adam’s Camp Alaska is requesting $3,600 to cover the cost of renting a house in Girdwood that would be used for one therapy team and volunteers.  The house would also be used as lodging for an overnighter planned for the campers, as a place for an orientation meeting with parents, and as the site for parent/therapists conferences at the end of camp.