We are raising money to help ensure that Trent, a teen with severe autism, may attend a special needs camp for one week this summer. This camp offers fun filled interactions for Trent, as well as respite for his family.
It's a new year, and Trent is officially 17 years old. He stands tall at 6'4" and continues to be a handful! Trent was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. His case is severe and prevents him from enjoying a lot of things neuro-typical children get to do while growing up. His autism doesn't only affect him, but keeps his siblings from enjoying many normal childhood events as well. He is very intelligent and creative, but communication is not his strong point. His communication is limited, and he is only able to communicate by using short phrases. Because he is unable to fully express himself, he can become frustrated and upset. The unfortunate result to this is a meltdown. The meltdown is the only way he can vent this frustration. It consists of screaming, squealing, crying, with pinching and swatting. Because these episodes can be so difficult to handle, the family doesn't get to venture out together often. Finding quality care outside of the home to meet the needs that Trent has is extremely difficult. His family has not had any help for about 6 years. He has been approved for the B3 Respite program for about 4 years, but local agencies keep failing him.However, Camp Lakey Gap gives him an opportunity to have a break from being at home and the opportunity to have fun in a safe environment. This also gives his siblings and mother a break from the stress of autism, and gives them the time they need to recharge and participate in summer activities that they may not otherwise get a chance to enjoy.Trent has been attending Camp Lakey Gap since 2010 and it is a trip that he looks forward to each year. He spends 5 days at Camp Lakey Gap developing his social and interactive skills both with staff and peers, and receives one-on-one with a trained counselor. Camp Lakey Gap has crafts, music, swimming, games, canoeing, and other fun activities that Trent anticipates participating in every summer. He would be devastated if he could not go.At home, Trent usually enjoys being using his iPad to create videos. He likes to collect old VHS tapes and DVDs. He does not enjoy going outside unless it involves a swimming pool, so this is why his involvement in Camp Lakey Gap is crucial. It is always great to see what he comes back with after a week of camp. They hold a talent show at the end of each week, and Trent always wins an award for being creative, artistic, funny, and well loved by all of the counselors.This year, the cost of camp is $1,780. Campers may apply for scholarships, but the small amount awarded varies each year.Any funds will be used to cover camp tuition. If there is any left over, it will buy any clothing and toiletry items he will need while at camp. You can find more information on the camp website at https://www.camplakeygap.org/
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