Ausome is thrilled to announce an opportunity to provide a day at Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa for children with autism. Ausome was launched in late 2015 by Ottawa residents Liisa Vexler and Derek Firth to provide sports and recreation programming to kids with autism in the community, and the summer camp experience is just the type of opportunity they want to provide.
Vexler approached Camp B’nai Brith (CBB) with the idea and her idea was met with a resounding “yes”!
“Inclusion benefits everyone!”, says CBB Director Cindy Benedek. “Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa prides itself on being a place where campers grow and learn, and inviting Ausome was a natural fit to help us on our journey of raising the next generation of leaders. We know how much support children with autism need and we are thrilled to be able to share our camp, campers and facilities with children who may not be able to experience overnight camp otherwise.”
Camp B’nai Brith has invited 15 children and their support staff to spend a full day at camp, experiencing the regular camp activities with CBB campers and staff, enjoying lunch in the dining hall, and providing older campers an opportunity to volunteer with the children from Ausome.
“Even if camps are inclusive, their programs are typically not designed to meet the needs of many children with autism”, says Ausome co-founder and executive director, Liisa Vexler. “In other cases, financially stressed families just can’t afford to enrol, after they have paid for all their child’s therapies. This experience with CBB will give our children an experience that they otherwise likely wouldn’t have, and it gives the campers and staff at CBB an opportunity to learn about autism and acceptance.”
Vexler notes that many of their existing programs are filling up in just hours. “The primary thing stopping us from offering more is funding”, she says.
AUSOME PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
Parents of an 11 year-old boy who attends a school for children with autism said,
“It was so nice to drop my son off at an activity and not have to worry about being called in to help or having to discuss his needs with the staff. It is nice to feel just like everybody else for a change!”
No one should be excluded from sports. But for children with autism, playing sports isn’t always easy. Sometimes, community programs are not designed to meet the needs of children with autism. In other cases, financially stressed families just can’t afford to enrol, after they have paid for all their child’s therapies.
Ausome Ottawa exists to change this. Our vision of “Ausome” is an opportunity for every kid with autism to participate in sports in a program that meets their needs. We deliver this with appropriately supported programs in the right setting, at no direct cost to families.