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Community Connections is an evidence-based summer program for children and adolescents (entering 1st grade - age 16) with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (Asperger’s, high-functioning autism, and PDD-NOS) or other disabilities. The program will be conducted for five weeks during the summer, June 30 – August 1, 2014 (Monday – Friday) from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  The program will be held at two sites in 2014 - at Hilbert College in Hamburg, New York, (Southtowns) and at Erie Community College - North (Northtowns).  The Northtowns site will offer recreational opportunities at the YMCA.

Community Connections provides children with intensive training, experience, and practice in social and emotional skills allowing them to make friends and learn to better connect with peers, siblings, teachers, and parents/caregivers.

Eligible participants should have a diagnosis of Asperger’s, high-functioning autism, PDD-NOS or other developmental disability. Community Connections targets development of key social competencies using direct instruction, fun and engaging practice exercises, and recreational activities in a summer camp format.

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Each day, children participate in multiple small, group-based social skills training sessions, followed by age-appropriate recreational activities designed to practice targeted social competencies.  The School-Based Enhancement Program targets common areas of difficulty for students with AS/HFA such as:

  • Following directions
  • Attending to and participating in group-based activities
  • Offering task-relevant contributions
  • Requesting and accepting assistance
  • Keeping organized
  • Completing homework

Weekly parent sessions provide caregivers with strategies to promote their child’s social interactions and extend the gains of the program to other settings.  This program is an extension of the evidence-based Connections program that has been documented to be effective in multiple peer-reviewed clinical studies.

If you are interested in having your child participate, please contact Alana Eaton at 716-799-8160.