Summer camp can be a fun and exciting experience for children and adults with autism. Families can search for accredited summer camps on the American Camp Association website – they have thousands of listings, and there is an option to specify that you are looking for a camp serving children or young adults with autism.
Autism Speaks is committed to promoting inclusion of children and adults with autism across all programs and organizations for families. Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organizations is a guide to help organizations learn to integrate youth with autism into existing programs, communicate with parents, and train their staff. Please feel free to share this guide with any camps, sports programs, or other youth organizations your son might be interested in.
If you are looking for funding or financial assistance, many camps will offer tuition/fees on a sliding scale relative to your income. You can also find Family Grant Opportunities on our website.
Another option to consider is requesting an Extended School Year (ESY) program through your child’s school district or at the next IEP meeting. If there is evidence that a child experiences a substantial regression in skills during school vacations, he/she may be entitled to ESY services. These services would be provided over long breaks from school (summer vacation) to prevent substantial regression. This is usually discussed during annual IEP reviews but if you are concerned about regression, now is the best time to bring it up with your child’s team at school. Some children attend the camps listed in our Resource Guide as part of their Extended School Year (ESY) program.
Another good resource is MyAutismTeam, a social network specifically for parents of individuals with autism. Join more than 40,000 parents from all parts of the country and find parents whose children are similar to yours or who live near you, get tips and support, ask questions, and exchange referrals on great providers, services, and camps for your child.
Families can also reach out to the state’s Parent Training and Information Center to find additional information and support in their local areas.
New Virtual Summer Camps:
Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 9 am for parks West of California Ave.
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 9 am for parks East of California Ave.
In-Person Registration Begins:
Saturday, June 13
Day Camp runs:
Monday, July 6 - Friday, July 31, 2020
Camping services program
DFI Title XX
Funding for free camp programming
The American Camp Association, Illinois (ACA Illinois,) under contract with the State of Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS,) administers the DFI Title XX Camping Services Program. ACA Illinois purchases the camp services for eligible campers from day and resident camps that wish to participate.
For Illinois residents that qualify for one of the following: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Medicaid
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our comprehensive summer camp resource for families—offering expert advice from camp professionals on camp selection, readiness, child and youth development, and issues of importance to families. ACA helps you find the right camp for every child.
Inspiring self-discovery in individuals with special needs. Virtual camp programming is replacing in-person camp in light of COVID-19 concerns.
Youth and Adult Programming
26710 West Nippersink Road, Ingleside, IL 60041 | Phone: 847.740.5010 |Fax: 847.740.5014
Youth & Adult camp programs focused on socialization, independence and life long memories
Provides specialized and inclusive camping and respite programming for individuals with disabilities or special needs and their families in a safe, accessible and beautiful environment. Timber Pointe offers special needs and inclusive camp sessions for children and adults ages 7 and up. Campers participate in traditional camp activities such as swimming, fishing, boating, arts & crafts, target sports, music, and horseback riding.
Presenting STEM Camp Guide
Guide to STEM camps in and near Chicago. There are loads of great options for elementary school students up to high school students to build and apply their science, math, technology, and engineering skills in informal, creative environments this summer.
Digital Adventures - 1st - 8th Grade (Lincoln Park, Wilmette, Oak Park)
iD Tech - ages 7-19 held (Evanston), Chicago-Roger’s Park/Edgewater, Lisle, and Elgin)
Bit Space - 1st through 12th grade (Lincoln Square, Wilmette)
Galileo Innovation Camps - pre-K – 10th graders (Arlington Heights, Glenview, Northbrook, Winnetka, Evanston, Oak Park, La Grange, Naperville, Winnetka, Evanston, Chicago)
Codeverse - 1-8th graders (Chicago, Naperville, Wilmette)
214 Discovery Camps include a range of STEM and STEAM options full- and half-day camps Monday-Thursday. Wheeling
Adler Planetarium - pre-K through 10th grade (Museum Campus)
Alexa Café - young women ages 10-15 (Lake Forest College, Bryn Mawr)
Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) - Details coming soon. Watch their site for more information.
Chicago Botanic Garden - pre-K through grade 7, with leadership opportunities for 8-10th graders (Glencoe)
Chicago Maritime Arts Center - kids ages 11-17 (Chicago)
College of Lake County (CLC) - elementary schoolers through high school seniors (Grayslake and Southlake)
Cook County Forest Preserves - Age groups and locations vary.
Digital Media Academy - Ages 7-17 (Chicago)
Field Museum - Ages 11–13 (Museum Campus)
Frank Lloyd Wright Trust - Grades 3-8 (Chicago)
12 weeks of themed camps with 60+ activities to do with the kids this Summer.