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Alan and Kevin's Stories

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New Avenues to Independence began their adventure into children’s programming about 15 years ago.  Along the way, we have connected with many wonderful families, several of which have children that are still currently attending our programs—New Avenues Summer Camp and Swim, Gym, & More.  One of these families is the Bambic family.  Kevin and Alan, now ages 16 and 17, respectively, began attending New Avenues Summer Camp at ages 4 and 5.  They have been attending ever since, and also participated in Swim, Gym & More for many years.  Even though both Kevin and Alan have autism, they are, as is often the case with siblings, very different kids.  The thing that Mrs. Bambic, Alan and Kevin’s mother, likes about our Children’s Programs is that because they provide a wide variety of activities, there is something that appeals to all different types of children.

Alan, the older of the two Bambic brothers, is very social and very verbal.  He enjoys coming to Summer Camp so he can see the staff and all of his friends.  He always knows what the scheduled special event is for the day, and it’s the first thing he asks about when he arrives at camp.  Alan prefers indoor activities, so Music Therapy, art class, cooking projects, and crafts are among his favorite things to do.  Alan also loves to perform, so one of the special events that he particularly looks forward to is the Talent Show. But, he also enjoys participating in other activities like the pony rides, the carnival, and the Awards Assembly on the last day of camp.

Kevin, on the other hand, prefers to do everything outdoors.  Kevin is non-verbal and more laid back.  If he could, he would spend the whole day outside taking walks, swinging, and just enjoying nature.  Kevin is more of a sensory kid.  He likes projects that involve different textures like finger-painting and using shaving cream.  Kevin also enjoys looking at the colored lights in the Sonada Room, a special room at Broadmoor designed for children that respond well to sensory input. His favorite thing at Summer Camp is the pool.  He loves to go swimming and is perfectly content to stay in the water as long as he can.

But, New Avenues Summer Camp is more than just a fun place to go.  It also provides Extended School Year (ESY) services to students that qualify.  That means that school district representatives and parents decide on goals that they would like their children to work on during the summer.  They could be speech and communication goals, fine and gross motor goals, or even classroom and behavioral goals.  The goals are usually part of the child’s IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) that he or she has been working on during the school year. Most of the students attending New Avenues Summer Camp, including Alan and Kevin, receive some type of ESY services.  The teachers and therapists work on specific goals with each student, then report back to the school district on the progress that was made.  Each summer that Alan and Kevin have attended New Avenues Summer Camp they have worked on different ESY goals.  As they grow and change, so do their goals and expectations.  This summer Alan was working on behaving appropriately in school and self-monitoring his behavior.  He also worked on math goals, including counting money to make purchases.  Kevin was working on maintaining calm behavior during school.  He also worked on communication skills.  Since Kevin is non-verbal, he uses a communication book to express his wants and needs.  He is learning how to make 3 to 4 word sentences using his communication book. Both boys continue to make good progress on the goals they work on each summer.

Mrs. Bambic said that the boys have had the opportunity to attend other summer programs, but because they both enjoy New Avenues Summer Camp so much and continue to make progress on the goals they have each summer,  the family chooses to keep sending them there. Kevin and Alan look forward to coming to camp every day and are sad when it has to end. We feel so honored to be a part of these young men's lives, and look forward to seeing them again in the fall for Swim, Gym, & More!