Summer Camps For Neurodiverse Children 
USA & Canada

Summer camps are a loved tradition for children all over the world. They offer a valuable opportunity for kids to develop new skills, make new friends, and create unforgettable childhood memories. 
For children with Sensory Processing Disorder, summer camp can be much more than just a fun summer activity, it truly can be a life changing experience for them to experience.

Sensory processing disorder affects how we receive and process sensory information , this can make everyday activities, like going to school or playing with friends, overwhelming and stressful. Often, these children with sensory differences feel isolated and left out from many  childhood activities.
sensory kids at summer camp adhd autism Summer Camps For Neurodiverse Children  USA & Canada

Summer camps specifically designed for children with sensory differences offer a safe and welcoming environment for them to learn, grow, and have fun. These camps are led by trained professionals who understand the unique needs of children with sensory challenges and can create a program that caters to their specific sensory needs. 

A significant advantage of sensory processing disorder summer camps is their inclusive environment. Unlike traditional summer camps, these camps are designed to accommodate the sensory needs of every child, regardless of their diagnosis. 
This inclusive environment provides a sense of belonging and normalcy for children with sensory difficulties, who may feel like they don't fit in at typical camps. It also gives them a chance to interact with other children who face similar challenges, reducing the feeling of isolation and building peer support.

Summer camps for children with sensory processing disorder offer a structured and supportive environment where they can learn and practice coping strategies. These strategies can help them manage their senses and emotions in real-life situations. Camp counselors and therapists work together to create a daily routine that incorporates sensory integration activities, relaxation techniques, and social skills training. This helps children with sensory processing disorder develop skills that they can use in their lives making them more independent and confident.

Sensory processing disorder can make children feel like they are different from their peers. This can severely impact their self-esteem, and they may even develop feelings of shame and inadequacy. Sensory based summer camps often incorporate recreational activities such as swimming, rock climbing, and outdoor adventures. When children participate and succeed in these activities, it can give them a tremendous sense of accomplishment. These positive experiences can help boost their self-esteem and self-confidence, making them feel more empowered and proud of themselves.

Social interactions are an important part of a child's development, and summer camps for children with sensory differences can offer a safe and controlled environment for them to practice their social skills. Many children with sensory processing disorder have difficulty with social cues and may find it challenging to make friends. Camps provide opportunities for them to interact with their peers in a less structured and more relaxed setting. Through camping activities and team-building exercises, children can develop meaningful friendships and social skills that will benefit them long after camp ends.

Summer camps for children with sensory processing disorder offer an experience that can positively impact their lives. These camps promote inclusivity, provide a safe environment, foster skill development, and boost self-confidence. Every child deserves to have a summer filled with fun and adventure, and with the rise of sensory camps, children with sensory difficulties can now participate in summer camp activities with their peers and create lasting memories.

Canada Summer Camps

Camp sessions are offered for children and youth who have physical, developmental, and learning disabilities. Campers are encouraged to participate at their own level of ability, and the focus is on independence. A helpful counsellor or staff member is always available, but the idea of doing things for yourself is stressed at Camp Rotary. Younger campers love our creative and energetic programs, and even the most seasoned camper will find something fresh and exciting to do. Only at Camp Rotary can you make a kite, play elbow tag, shoot an arrow, sing at a campfire, and swamp a canoe, all in one day!   Sunnyside Beach, New Brunswick

To serve children who have learning disabilities.
To provide a safe physical, social and emotional recreational environment adhering to high standards of general camping practices.
To design and provide a camp programme that will allow children to increase their understanding of themselves and of their learning disabilities.
To design and provide a camp programme that will teach them the social and physical skills that will encourage them to take the risks necessary to increase their opportunities for success.
To provide staff training that will increase understanding of the children who have learning disabilities, demonstrate how best to work with these children and encourage and foster personal and professional development.
To work cooperatively with the families of campers and other professionals who may be involved.
To be an advocate for people with learning disabilities.    Kirkfield, Ontario

In 1981 the Camp opened its doors, and for the first time, accessible camping became a reality in Newfoundland & Labrador.  This was the culmination of several years of effort by many dedicated individuals and groups.   Our Camp became a place where anyone could go regardless of their abilities.   A place where corridors were as wide as rooms, and walkways throughout the site made it possible to move freely outside. Bishop's Falls, NL

Camp Kodiak is an integrated summer program for children and teens with and without Learning Disabilities, ADHD and high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. We offer an integrated social skills program, an academic program, and over 50 exciting activities. Our staff is comprised of teachers, child & youth workers, social workers and other professionals, as well as college or university students working towards one of those professions. Parry Sound, Ontario

At Shadow Lake our campers will enjoy a wide variety of both indoor and outdoor activities; all based on the interest and ability levels of our guests.
Our waterfront programs include fishing, paddle boat rides, canoeing, water trampolines, water slides, swimming and pontoon boat rides. We have a large sand bottom swimming area that is supervised by our qualified lifeguards. If waterfront is not your liking, you can always cool down at our splash pad. Take part in a game of baseball, volleyball, horseshoes, hiking, tenting or simply relax and listen to music and enjoy the beauty of nature. Get up and move to Nintendo WI, Tae-Bo, aqua fit, dancercise, lake swims and power walks. In the evening, the entire camp comes together to take part in group programs such as campfires, movie nights, beach dances, talent shows, night hikes and much more. Toronto, Ontario

Camp Winston provides inspiring recreational opportunities for kids with complex neurological disorders who need highly specialized support. Located on beautiful Sparrow Lake in the Muskoka region of Ontario, we operate a summer camp, weekend retreats and week-long retreats throughout the year. Camp Winston’s primary focus is to set our children up for success. We operate four, two-week summer sessions attended by about 145 campers aged 7 – 13 years from across Canada.  Campers may then continue in the Camp Winston community in our Teen Program for ages 14 – 17. In most cases, this is the first time in their lives they feel welcome and secure enough to participate without being rejected or alienated by their peers.

Between Friends Camp Bonaventure creates a summer full of excitement, friendship and fun. Children and youth thrive at Camp Bonaventure. They are encouraged to challenge and develop their abilities through horseback riding, canoeing, sailing, wall climbing, golf, swimming and many other exciting activities and adventures.
Camp Bonaventure is available to children and youth with and without a disability from the age of 4 – 17 years old. Individuals are divided into age-appropriate groups. Activities are customized to all ability levels to maximize enjoyment and help participants challenge and grow their individual potential. Calgary, Alberta

Summer Camp for Kids & Teens With Special Needs  Arden, Ontario
Welcome to Camp Kennebec, a wonderful summer camp for kids and teens with special needs, learning disabilities, and developmental delays including autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, ADD, Down Syndrome, OCD, brain injury, anxiety, social skill and other challenges. Each summer, Kennebecers have a great time and accomplish more than they expect.  At Camp Kennebec, we help our campers create the fabulous summer camp memories they deserve.  We’re looking forward to welcoming your son or daughter to camp this summer.

USA Summer Camps 

Sensory Integration Nature Camp for Autistic and ADHD children (Seattle)  combines the principles of sensory integration therapy with nature immersion and replaces the indoor space with a natural outdoor setting. Although this form of therapy is new, the general premise that regular outdoor time benefits all children’s emotional, physical, and mental health is becoming widely accepted. Several promising studies have found that a dose of nature works as well or better than a dose of medication on ADHD-diagosed children’s ability to concentrate.

Avanti provides a variety of programs to serve the needs of children, therapists and the community. The children we serve are those who have average or above average intelligence but have diagnosed learning disabilities and/or sensory processing dysfunction. These children may also have poor coordination, attention deficits, hyperactivity and/or inadequate motor planning skills. Because Camp Avanti has been designed for group experience, therapeutic support is geared toward facilitating peer interaction with camp activities. Staff/camper ratio is three–five staff to eight children during daytime activities.  The camp is approximately a 90-minute drive east from the Twin Cities—Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Why do Camp OdakOTa?
COTI is Cincinnati's expert in the area of sensory integration. The camp curriculum has been designed by COTI staff and will anticipate and meet the sensory and environmental needs of our campers to promote their successful participation in summer camp. Camp OdakOTa will provide children the opportunity to experience camp life through the support of trained occupational therapy professionals and other staff alongside other children that are experiencing similar challenges. Children will become a part of a small group of six children with two counselors and participate in therapist led activities throughout each day.

Starfish was designed, created, and structured to provide a safe, fun and skill-building therapeutic camp experience to children who, for whatever reason(s), are unable to find success in more traditional environments. Many campers who attend Starfish have been asked to leave other summer or extra-curricular programs because the staff ratio, structure or program expectations did not set up children with extra needs for success. Some have never tried camp or spent any time away from home.  Rindge, NH.

Fun and friendship fill the air during Horizons’ Summer Camp and Weekends in the Country overnight camp opportunities!  These two camp options are offered for children and adults who have developmental disabilities and are between the ages of 8 and 39 (campers who are 40 and up attend our Masters Program).
Like other traditional sleep-away camps, Horizons provides a wide variety of enriching and rewarding experiences uniquely designed to promote each camper’s success. 
The staff at Horizons are chosen for their proven abilities with campers who have special needs. Staff participate in a six day orientation, as well as ongoing staff development groups and weekly staff meetings. Our high rate of returning campers and staff is evidence of the success of Horizons.
South Windham, CT

Camp Fatima reserves a few weeks each summer to provide a fabulous camp experience to children with special needs. Our founder was committed to providing children with disabilities with a classic camp experience, and we have remained steadfast in this commitment. Today, we offer two programs.
Gilmanton Iron Works, NH
Wolfeboro, NH

Big Apple Day Program (BADP) is a co-ed 6-week social skills summer treatment camp for children ages 4-6, 7-8 & 9-11 with mild-to-moderate (non-aggressive) social difficulties that interfere with the ability to make and keep friends. Our campers might have a formal diagnosis (e.g., ADHD, Anxiety, ASD, LD, NVLD) or never been diagnosed. We use a social-thinking, behavioral approach to teach social, classroom and athletic skills. We offer a fun and therapeutic summer experience for kids who need extra support and attention at camp.
New York, NY

Here at Surfers Healing, our mission is to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing.
Though we serve thousands, that mission exists because of one child. Israel and Danielle Paskowitz founded Surfers Healing because of their son, Isaiah. Isaiah has autism, and when he struggled with meltdowns and sensory overload, riding the waves with his father calmed him like nothing else.
Not everyone has a championship surfer for a Dad (bummer!), so the Paskowitz family invited others to join them at the beach. Their idea caught on, and now we're a nationwide, grassroots non-profit organization. We're the original surf camp for children with autism, and we offer all our events free of charge.

Each year Cradle Beach strives to serve nearly 800 campers during the summer camp sessions. Each session can accommodate up to 175 campers.
Although boys and girls are separated by cabins during the daytime, everyone plays, eats and attends activities together.
Everyone at camp has the same opportunity to get the full camper experience no matter their background. In fact, that's what makes Cradle Beach so unique. We're one of the few camps in the United States to integrate campers with and without disabilities and include kids from low-income backgrounds. Almost no one is turned away from Cradle Beach because of their individual characteristics. Angola - NY

Camp Akeela is an intentional camp community offering a well-rounded and traditional program that emphasizes the social growth of our campers, many of whom have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (or, more recently, high functioning autism spectrum disorder) or a nonverbal learning disability (NLD). Campers make life-long friends, develop self-confidence, achieve independence, and leave camp with lasting memories filled with fun and spirit. Vermont or Wisconsin

Located in southern Ashland County, Ohio, Camp Nuhop is a residential summer camp for children with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, Asperger's Syndrome (ASD) and behavioral nuances. Our mission is to provide a safe, nurturing, dynamic learning environment where people are empowered to succeed. In our structured programs, campers receive specialized placement with staff that understand their individuality. Our staff teaches self-awareness, social development, and creates a safe environment where friendships can be made. Perrysville, OH

Camp Lee Mar is a private residential special needs camp for children and teenagers with mild to moderate learning and developmental challenges. A structured environment, individual attention and guidance are emphasized at all times. Campers enjoy traditional camp activities PLUS academics, speech and language therapy, music and art therapy, daily living skills, sensory-motor-perceptual training, and computers. We also have therapeutic horseback riding and overnight trips. Heated pool, modern facilities and air-conditioned buildings, including bunks. Lackawaxen, PA

Charis Hills is a Christian Summer Camp for kids with learning differences and social difficulties such as ADD, ADHD, High-Functioning Autism, Asperger's disorder, and other special needs.  Our goal is to provide a positive camp experience for kids while sharing the good news about Jesus Christ. The camp is located in the Cross Timbers or North Texas Hill Country area, northwest of Dallas and Fort Worth, near Decatur.
Charis Hills is dedicated to the development of kids who have average to above average intelligence, but who have an inability to process information in traditional ways.  Campers receive academic reinforcement each day while participating in a traditional summer camping program geared to encourage success and reward positive behavior consistently.

Talisman Programs provide exceptional ADHD, autism and Aspergers camp opportunities for young people, ages 6 to 22, with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD and other learning differences. Since 1980, our ACA-accredited autism and Aspergers camp programs have been offering unique alternatives to ordinary summer camps. We provide a structured, nurturing environment within an exciting adventure program in which our campers can have a successful summer while increasing social skills, a sense of personal responsibility and a more positive self-image.
Zirconia, NC

SOAR is an accredited ADHD Summer Camp, Boarding School, and GAP Year Program. We serve youth and young adults with ADHD and other Learning Disabilities in North Carolina, Wyoming, California, Florida, and internationally! Our adventure based programs provide academic instruction, experiential education, and life skills development for youth and young adults ages 8-25. Created in 1977 by an adult with learning disabilities, SOAR provides fun and successful experiences so that participants may gain greater awareness of their own strengths and improve self-esteem and confidence.

Located on 450 lakefront acres in New Hampshire, the Wediko Summer Program is a 45-day residential treatment program serving boys and girls ages 9-19 with social, emotional and behavioral challenges. The children who come to Wediko are referred by schools, educational consultants, and clinicians from across the country who believe a fresh-air, therapeutic experience can create positive change.

Quest Therapeutic Camps of Southern California provides summer day camp services and after-school programs specifically designed to help kids with special needs and learning differences find success. We welcome kids with ADHD, ADD, Asperger’s and high-functioning Autism, social anxiety, learning disabilities, depression and more.

Clover Patch is a summer camp for individuals with disabilities where each camper is encouraged to reach his or her fullest potential. Since 1965, Clover Patch Camp has provided individuals with disabilities opportunities to make new friends, create everlasting memories, and experience a genuine camp setting. Glenville, NY

Based on our 250-acre campus in Rhinebeck, New York, Camp Ramapo is a residential summer camp that serves children ages 6 to 16 who are affected by social, emotional, or learning challenges, including children affected by autism spectrum disorders.

Camp Sequoia is an overnight summer camp for boys ages 7-17 to experience social skills success in a dynamic and nurturing environment. Camp Sequoia is designed for children and teenagers with ADHD and other similar diagnoses who do not need the level of support offered at special needs overnight camps yet need a different experience than a traditional overnight camp can offer. Our 2:5 staffing ratio allows our campers to have fun and grow in a safe and supportive camp experience. Pennsburg, PA

Summit Camp is in its 4th decade serving special needs boys and girls ages 8 to 19. Although our children come to us with any number of diagnoses, they all share in their difficulty making and maintaining age appropriate peer relationships. Clinical diagnoses may include Asperger syndrome, ADD/ADHD, verbal and non-verbal learning disabilities (NVLD), HFA (including PDD-NOS), speech and language issues, and sensory integration issues. Some of our youngsters may also have issues related to gaps in executive function, Tourette’s syndrome, and/or Bi-Polar disorder.  Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Camp ASCCA is Alabama's Special Camp for Children and Adults. ASCCA is a nationally recognized leader in therapeutic recreation for children and adults with both physical and intellectual disabilities. Providing weekend and week long sessions, Camp ASCCA is open year-round.
Located in Alabama on Lake Martin, Camp ASCCA offers campers a wide variety of recreational and educational activities. Activities include horseback riding, fishing, tubing, an accessible waterslide, swimming, environmental education, arts and crafts, canoeing, a "splash pad", outdoor adventure elements like the zip-line, and much more.

Camp Aldersgate’s Summer Camps serve children with medical, physical and developmental needs. Camp offers traditional summer camp activities such as campfires and singing, canoeing, fishing, arts and crafts, swimming, and nature hikes. Like all kids, our campers want new and exciting adventures. With this in mind, activities are developed that provide for that personal challenge. Some include: an accessible challenge ropes course and carousel, adapted archery and SCUBA diving. It’s about creating opportunities for individual accomplishment in a positive and encouraging environment. Parents continually report increased independence, self-esteem, and social interactions following a week at camp.   Little Rock, AR

Since 2001, Learning on the Log has provided an inclusive therapeutic social skills program designed for both typical developing and special needs children, including Autism, Asperger, ADHD, sensory integration disorder, developmental delay, and various anxiety disorders.  Atlanta, GA

The Dream Power Team is comprised of community, corporate and industry leaders who are dedicated to our mission, and selflessly give of themselves to ensure that people with special needs can enjoy our programs.
Children will learn complete basic horsemanship skills from getting the pony's halter on, to grooming them, tacking them up, and the basics of riding.
We have TONS of fun painting our ponies to playing horseshoes on horseback! By the end of the week our little guys will be able to trot the figure 8 on their own!
Since 1993, we have served Metro Atlanta and the surrounding Northeast Georgia communities of Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming & Gainesville.

Kris' Camp is named after Kris Moore (5/30/1988 - 11/9/1993). The Kris' Camp approach is a competency-based approach based on least to most amount of facilitation and looking at autism as a movement disorder. Kris' Camp hires licensed professional therapists from the following fields: art, education, music, occupational, physical and speech. They are supported by assistants who are working on degrees in one of those fields or who have had experience working with special needs children. Tallahassee, FL

Civitan Foundation’s longest running and most beloved program offers week-long camp sessions throughout the summer, and weekend adventures once a month during the rest of the year. Camp Civitan is a 15-acre wheelchair accessible facility for developmentally disabled children and adults in the cool Northern Arizona pine country town of Williams.
This program offers campers a variety of enriching and fun experiences that promote positive self-esteem, teamwork, socialization, and healthy activities. Williams, AZ

Camp Blessing exists to show the hope of Jesus Christ to those with special needs, their caregivers, and the volunteers who serve them in a barrier-free camp environment emphasizing love, acceptance and fun.
Camp Blessing is an 11-year-old, award-winning, Christian summer camp ministry designed for children with special needs (physical/developmental/intellectual disabilities) to experience a week-long residential, barrier-free camp surrounding them with love, acceptance and fun. Since inception more than 6,300 campers/volunteer counselors have experienced this life-changing ministry. Brenham, Texas

Since its inception in 1937, Camp Greentop has been meeting the needs of children and adults with physical, emotional, cognitive, and multiple disabilities, regardless of their ability level. Camp Greentop was specifically designed for people with special needs, and is one of the oldest residential camps of its kind in the country! Camp Greentop currently offers a variety of programming for campers ranging in age from seven to adulthood (you can never age out!). We currently provide programming for roughly 450 campers per year, with a majority of campers returning year after year.
Camp Greentop is accredited by the American Camp Association and is licensed by the State of Maryland for Youth Camp Certification. This helps to ensure that our programs are not only innovative and fun, but safe as well!

It's a place where kids create a lifetime of memories. Develop a greater sense of independence through new adventures and working with others. A magical place in the world where kids with special needs are encouraged to be themselves.
For more than 80 years, Camp Grace Bentley has given kids with special needs a special summer.  St. Clair County, Michigan

At the heart of every TimberNook program is the TimberNook experience. TimberNook experiences are carefully crafted to provide the ultimate sensory experience — challenging the mind, body, and the senses through meaningful play opportunities. Each program begins with a TimberNook experience that is unique to that location, provider, and group of children. This is often followed by free play in sensory-rich learning environments that further enhance play schemes.

Here are some more helpful Sensory Processing Disorder Resources

DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists give you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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