An Honorary Medical Degree for Autism Parents
Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines Meetings June 9 and 10

Summertime isn't Always a V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N with Autism

Summertime is here for many of us. (Don't hate me, but my kids are in school until June 23rd.) What does your summer programming look like for your child on the spectrum?  Do you have ESY, craft a custom program, have a favorite camp? My girls have ESY from July 5 - August 11. Monday - Thursday from 8am to 1pm. Tell us how you make the livin' a little bit "easy" in the summertime.


Julie Leonardo

Three weeks of ESY and then nothing! Aaaaargh!


5 week ESY with one on one TSS support....4 weeks home with TSS support (and she's dynamite)30 hours per week.

Donna L.

ESY for my 12 yr old son, who just this Fall was placed in a private autism school after many unsuccessful years in public schools. This is the first summer ever in which he'll be in school. I feel like I just won the lottery! (I hope that doesn't sound mean. It's just that it's been an incredibly looong journey...)

Amy in Idaho

My kiddo will be enjoying the last of Medicaid supports (budget cuts you know) by being included in 'regular' camps and having a 1:1 support person with him. We did one week's camp last year and he LOVED it. So in typical fashion, I've outdone myself and enrolled him for 6 weeks total. In the off weeks, he'll continue to go to his school (private, inclusive developmental disability agency/school also paid for by Medicaid and soon to be rendered extinct - or at least maimed - by budget cuts).

chantal Sicile-Kira

Right now, Jeremy is on a road trip with dad picking up sister from college - I get to work on my next book for FOUR DAYS NO INTERRUPTIONS! After that, he is busy but it is in & out of the house.....

For those who are traveling this summer - here are some tips:

Back to my manuscript!!!


We can enthusiastically recommend Ramapo for Children, a camp for autistic and at-risk children in Rhinebeck, NY. Both our kids love it, and they come home healthier, happier, and more self-reliant. The counselor/camper ratio is 1:1, and the staff is wonderfully dedicated. Check it out:

It's a bit more expensive than typical camps, but there are some scholarships based on need, and sometimes school districts will pay for it. Don't quote me on this, but they might have a few places open for this summer.

Your kids deserve this. You deserve this.


A great home therapist that will attend the Y camp with him two days a week.
Camp MOM.
A couple of trips to visit family in different places via public transportation.

Say your prayers and hang on tight, folks. It gets a little easier every year as he gets more flexible and fun.


My boys both go to an ABA based center, actually overseen by parents (I'm one of them). They only have 2 weeks off per year, week of July 4th is one (the other is between Christmas and New Years). It's great to have consistent programming year round--they do more outings and community activities during the summer, which is nice. We go to the beach during the summer break every year, which by most people's standards wouldn't be considered a vacation with all of the prep work and cooking/structure, but we look forward to it every year.

I believe every family should have access to this kind of care/treatment, and more, for their children affected by autism, but sadly I know we are the exception. We fought our school to get a settlement which helps pay for this program. Inclusion was not the right thing for my boys after about 2nd grade - - even with inclusion we need to fight to have services to fill in the gaps during the year. Kids need the consistency and parents and families need to be able to have a consistent, minimum quality of life.

Jennifer Flinton

Back when I was working in the school system, I remember eagerly counting down the days until summer break. Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom again, my freedom comes to an abrupt halt when school lets out.

We increased my son's ABA hours during the summer. He also gets ESY, but it's only two hours per day, four days per week, for five scattered weeks during the summer. He's also going to an overnight special needs camp for one week in July, which was paid for by the school district.


Easy-set pool, trampoline, swing set. These are my life savers. Haven't had ESY in years so for the summer I give up my "free time" for sleeping in and it's not a bad trade. Enjoy your summer everyone.


My vacation is when they are in school all day. I dread "breaks", "Holidays" and "vacations". I was fortunate enough to have my boys in school during the summer but I just found out that the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives will be cutting their mental health funding beginning July 1st so I have NOTHING lined up for them. I am worried that I will lose my job. I can't believe they can vote to cut funding and not give us parents enough time to prepare.

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