While teenagers are having fun and building life-long friendships, our staff is helping them achieve their goals. Specifically, here are some of the things that we’re working on with our teenagers who have Asperger’s or similar ASD (autism) profile, NLD (or NVLD), or ADD/ADHD.
Post-Secondary and College Transition Program
Teens spend their summer surrounded by a true peer group with similar experiences and interests. Campers practice navigating peer relationships in a new environment that’s both challenging and supportive. Beyond Akeela staff provide ongoing facilitation of social interactions and ensure campers feel connected and socially successful.
Self-Awareness and Self-Confidence:
Beyond Akeela teens gain increasing amounts of independence and responsibility throughout the program. Each phase of the experience – from settling into dorm life at camp, to exploring the great outdoors, to helping plan their last week of travel – encourages campers to learn more about who they are and all that they are capable of.
College and Job Readiness:
Beyond Akeela provides organic opportunities for young adults to practice their independence and develop skills for a socially successful transition to college. A caring group of adult staff members provide honest and empathetic advice about post-secondary options. We engage with educational consultants and college professors to give advice about the application process and gain exposure to college course expectations. Community service work and internships are supervised by volunteer coordinators and staff who share feedback and job coaching during and after service opportunities. Career services on campus helps lead sessions on mock interviews, resume building, and career exploration to increase our teens’ confidence as they head into the workforce.
Executive Functioning and Life Skills:
Beyond Akeela presents countless real-world opportunities to work on planning and prioritizing, time management, organization, flexibility, and task initiation. Teens are empowered to help create itineraries and plan group meals. They also practice important life skills such as budgeting, grocery shopping, cooking, doing laundry, and living with a roommate.
Leadership and Self-advocacy:
Self-advocacy and leadership development are critical life skills that are paramount to the Beyond Akeela vision. Facilitated activities are designed to challenge campers to step out of their comfort zones while advancing their collaboration, problem solving, and resilience. Teens are given the space to advocate for the type of experience they’d like to have through choice-based programming.