Objective. The program was intended as (1) a community-based inclusion program to promote physical, social and emotional development for children with special needs, (2) a training program for physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, special educators and psychologists (3) an experiential learning opportunity for graduate students, (4) a venue for therapeutic outcomes research for children with developmental disabilities. Background. Children diagnosed with developmental disabilities constitute a growing population in need of specialized services. Camp Integrations was a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort among therapists, university faculty, students, and community partners to provide therapeutic services to children with developmental disabilities, within a typical summer camp environment. The program provided therapeutic interventions through a variety of age-appropriate physical and social activities (horseback riding, swimming, team sports, music and dancing). The providers (therapists and graduate students) received extensive training, and served as camp staff and research assistants. Methods. Outcomes research was performed during the 2007 and 2008 summer sessions. The research design was a concurrent mixed methods approach, converging quantitative and qualitative data. Data collection methods included parent questionnaires, focus group interviews, the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory, and the Social Skills Rating Scale. Results. Findings indicate improvements in social, emotional, and physical skills in the children as a result of their participation in the camp program. Conclusion. Therapeutic intervention delivered through the Camp Integrations model, may result in improved social, emotional, and physical skills for children with developmental disabilities. Grants. This study was partially funded by the President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/david-reitman/237/