Archived Story

Autism Camp marks successful week

Published 6:06pm Saturday, August 9, 2014

As our 2014 autism camps come to a close we are busy assessing the outcomes of both programs. Thirty-six youth participated in the two camp sessions; the results show the curriculum of the programs is strong and effective. Feedback from camper families has been overwhelmingly positive.

The goal of the Circle of Friends Day Camp is to help elementary-aged kids develop the skills necessary to help them succeed in their homes, their schools, and their communities. The children prepare for a planned activity through the use of visual aids and video modeling. They are then evaluated on how well and how long they can participate in the activity both in small and large group settings.

The campers also work on transitioning to new or different situations in order to build their confidence when approaching something for the first time. An average of 88 percent of the children were able to meet the goals set for them this year. The formation of new friendships is another outcome that is important for the participants. By the end of the week many campers are connected to a friend they will likely have for years to come.

All Access Community Explorations is finishing this week with their big trip to Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America. The 19 participants have been preparing for this trip for the last five weeks. The anticipation for a trip like this can be overwhelming for a group of youth who struggle to accept change and new environments. The camp leaders have discussed the layout of the attractions and the schedule for the day. They have prepared the kids for the opportunities to spend their budgeted money. This trip allows the kids to utilize the communication skills and behavioral expectations that the camp leaders have been focusing on throughout the camp.  The kids see it as a fun culmination of their program; the Autism Programming team at the HHH views it as a real-life experience that all teens should have access to despite their ASD diagnosis.

As the autism programs have completed five years at the Hormel Historic Home, we feel it is time to evaluate our current programming. To fulfill our education mission we want to continue serving the needs of those affected by ASD.

On Monday, Aug. 18, we will have an ASD Advisory group meeting for anyone affected by or interested in helping to guide what the HHH offers. Autism will touch most of us in one way or another-in our families, our businesses, and our communities. Please join us at 5:30 p.m. on the 18th if you are interested in reaching out to a part of our population that will benefit from community support.

 Free Peace Garden Concert

featuring Speaking In Tongues

6:30 p.m., Aug. 18

Led by percussionist and Austin native Marc Anderson, the group of four will bring a unique cultural engagement to the community. The musicians play distinctly different instruments from their native countries and the sound combines for an amazing experience. Funding for this event is partially provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board.

 Art and a Community

10 a.m., Aug. 19

Free Social Concerns presented by Bruce Loeschen. Hear about Bruce’s experience with creating city montages and his process for developing the walking tour of Austin.

Following the presentation a group will be taken on the Walking Tour of Austin. Cost for the tour is $5 with the proceeds benefiting the ArtWorks Center and Festival and the Mower County Historical Society.

Please call 507-433-4243 to sign up for the presentation and/or tour.

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