Camp Unites Kids with Autism, 'Neuro-Typical' Peers

Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support provides unique summer experience for kids

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (June 5, 2012)—This summer marks the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support’s third year offering children on the autism spectrum and their neuro-typical peers a chance to come together for a unique camp experience. For five weeks beginning June 25, the focus will be on fun, imagination and social growth for all children.

“There are an abundance of options when it comes to summer camps,” says Michelle Rowe, Ph.D., executive director of the Kinney Center at Saint Joseph’s University and professor of health services. “But the opportunity for social and emotional growth that Camp Kinney offers is unmatched. Campers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) get to witness first-hand the types of social skills expected of them at a particular age, building self-esteem and confidence. The neuro-typical kids learn important life lessons about compassion and mentorship.”

Forty-three children, the largest group yet, will be organized by age ranging from three  to 14. Activities include swimming, cooking and crafts, with special visits from The Academy of Natural Sciences, The Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, among others. Campers will also be tending a vegetable garden and recording their own music video for the first time at this year’s camp.

Each child with autism will have one-on-one support provided by one of 49 trained Kinney Center SCHOLARS (Students Committed to Helping Others Learn about Autism Research and Support).

“Camp fills up within hours of opening registration,” Rowe adds. “This is a testament to the quality of the program and the impact of the Kinney Center.”

About: With its roots in the Jesuit mission of service and cura personalis, or care for the whole person, the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support seeks to address the needs of those who struggle day-to-day with autism, either as individuals or caregivers. The mission of the Kinney Center is to provide multi-disciplinary education and research opportunities for students, teachers, professionals, and parents who seek to improve and extend opportunities, outcomes, quality of life and best practices in treatment for people with ASD. The Kinney Center offers services, resources, and information; support and guidance; and tools for public and individual advocacy that contribute to improved autism awareness and care.

In addition to the summer camp, the Kinney Center offers a Kids Night Out program, an after-school social skills program, a sports program, an academic minor for SJU students, and a college-bound retreat for college-age students with ASD.

For more information, contact the Kinney Center at 610-660-2170 or

Media Contact

Kelly Welsh, Director of Communications for the College of Arts and Sciences, 610-660-1385,

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