Camps and Respite
Friends of Children with Special Needs
East Bay / South Bay
Respite Service Programs
East Bay Summer Programs
Seeds Of Awareness
Oakland, San Francisco, Petaluma
Fiddleheads Summer Camp - at Bay Area parks. 3 to 1 counselor to camper ratio with therapeutic counselors. We honor the natural rhythm of each child, scheduling time to explore along with unscheduled time.
BOK Ranch offers half-day and full-day horse camps for special needs kids.
Via West Campus provides residential respite care with weekend and week-long programs throughout the year, amid 13 wooded acres in the Cupertino Foothills. That’s a simple description for a program that can mean the world to a parent or caregiver of someone with special needs. Also offer summer programs.
San Francisco - Dolores Street
Gateway staff are established experts in behavioral therapy for children with autism, and their expertise has been poured into Camp Gateway. All counselors are Registered Behavioral Technicians, trained in the science of breaking down skills into small components and reinforcing new skill acquisition every step of the way. For 2019 summer camp dates and details, click here.
In the beginning, the camp was simply a few platforms with tents on them. Since then, with the help of volunteers and donations, “Camp Krem” has evolved into a complex of buildings with a paved road, hiking trails, and even a large swimming pool, specially designed for the disabled.
Now part of Via Services, Altitude provides year-round camping experiences for boys and girls with social cognitive challenges.
Easter Seals Central California has owned and operated Camp Harmon since 1963, providing high-quality residential camp programs for children and adults with disabilities. Camp Harmon is located in Boulder Creek amidst the beautiful redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Aspen Team Camp
Orinda and the Sierras
Comprehensive programs for teens and young adults with Asperger's/HFA, including residential camp and living support.
Social Circle serves kids with disabilities who need help with social interaction/emotional and sensory regulation and more.
San Jose and other areas
Sensation Nation Summer Sports Camps offer week-long day camps, either half-day (9:00 a.m. – noon) or full-day (9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) filled with sensory and motor fun.
The camps accommodate up to 45 developmentally delayed youth, age 6 - 22. The ratio of children to counselors is 1:1. Camp is held at Camp Arroyo, a 138-acre parkland outside Livermore, equipped with cabins, a dining facility, and activity center.
Visit their website or contact Autistry for more information about their summer and ongoing programs for teens and adults. Topics include education, vocational skills, life skills, and physical fitness.
Skylar Hadden School Camp
Summer Camp at Skylar Hadden is a unique, integrated, non-competitive program for children & teens with & without ADHD, LD, NLD and Asperger Syndrome. SHS campers range in age from 6-18 and include children & teens.
CIP Summer Programs
Various Locations Across the US
The College Internship Program (CIP) provides unique opportunities for high school students and young adults with learning differences. Students will get a sneak peek at college life on one of six college campuses across the US. Since transitions can be difficult for young adults with learning differences, Summer@CIP can help them to prepare for what's in store as they move to the next stage of their lives.
Various Locations in the Bay Area
Not a camp, but E-Sports is an umbrella organization for several Bay Area community service programs: E-Soccer, E-Karate, and E-Hoops. Each program specializes in inclusion, which partners typical and special needs kids alongside each other in various athletic capacities. These programs have revolutionized and pioneered the inclusive sports philosophy.
Pioneer Pals Summer Camp
Cal State East Bay Hayward Campus
Camp Pioneer Pals is geared towards children ages
3 –10 with a diagnosis of autism or social
communication delays and their siblings.
Parca REACH Summer Day Camps
The REACH Summer Day Camps provide ratios of 1:8 or 1:3, for children 5-13 years old. Each week has a different, fun theme, so kids can sign up for consecutive sessions and still have new activities.
Municipal Recreation Departments
Many municipalities offer camps for children with special needs. Look up your city's Parks & Rec website for details.
Bay Area Friendship Circle
Offers children with special needs social and recreational activities year round. Children ages 4 to 20 are paired with a trained high school buddy. Also holding summer camps for children and teens with special needs (ages 5-22).
Summer Camps at EvoLibri
A two-week day camp by EvoLibri, run two times in the summer, for high functioning/Asperger's children. It is formatted as a traditional day camp where fun meets independent readiness skills.
For ages 12-15, SpringBoard is a one-week program geared specifically to prepare kids for school in the fall while having fun. The program focuses on executive functioning skills, review of study skills, and more.
Santa Cruz. Day activities for people with special needs, including Camp Adventures. The only program in Santa Cruz County that offers a year-round calendar of recreational events that is completely inclusive! We cater to people of all walks of life, including age, disability, and our veterans.
Champion Summer Camp
Inspiring Champions is a modified camp program that accommodates children with special needs.
Summer Camps at Abilities United
Summer’s Excellent Adventure Camp This inclusive summer camp for ages 5-18 helps campers create new friendships while participating in fun-filled field trips, arts and crafts projects, cooperative/noncompetitive games, and more. Register online at www.cityofpaloalto.org/enjoy, email summercamps@AbilitiesUnited.org, or call 650-618-3351.
Creative Discoveries Summer Camp
For youth with developmental disabilities ages 5-22. Our theme-based weekly camps promote peer friendships, provide behavioral support, and offer fun field trips and enriching activities in a safe, highly structured environment. Behaviors must be manageable in a 5:1 ratio.
Monterey Bay Horsemanship Academy
La Selva Beach
A fully inclusive Equestrian Center where lives are transformed, providing activities for all individuals, including those with special needs.
Many Y's accommodate children and adults with special needs. Contact your local branch to learn more.
Out of the area
Camp Alsing, located on the shores of North Pond in Rome Maine, is a premier co-ed residential summer camp for children with High-Functioning Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or other social communication challenges. Camp Alsing’s specially trained staff guide children, ages 9-16, to develop connections and expand their boundaries in a traditional camp setting.
Offers a fun, rewarding, and challenging day and overnight sports program allowing kids and adults with autism to progress in active sports.
We are always updating our Resources pages. To let us know about other programs, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Autism Society of the San Francisco Bay Area provides information but it does not constitute medical or legal information. Referrals provided are suggestions to organizations that might help, but do not constitute a recommendation. The Autism Society cannot be held responsible for consequences that arise from individual dealings with a professional or organization. The Autism Society provides an I&R service but individuals must assume personal responsibility for what they do with the information provided. Inclusion of any organization does not imply endorsement, and omission does not imply disapproval.