Summer program for kids, young adults with special needs

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The Wabash Center in Lafayette has created a new summer camp unlike any other in the area.

The program is structured to serve children and young adults with special needs. When they’re let out of school for summer break, Wabash Center’s Programs coordinator, Dawn Barngrover, said often times these teens don’t have anywhere to go while they aren’t in school.

“A child of typical development can stay home by themselves,” Barngrover explained. “But for our kids with special needs, that’s not the case.”

Barngrover said while it’s unique because of who they serve, it’s also similar to other summer camps.

“We do different activities that other summer programs do,” Barngrover said. “We do things like bowling, movies, trips to the zoo or the pool.”

Participants even gets some hands on gardening experience.

“Kids get to participate in planting, growing and then cooking and eating what they’ve grown,” Barngrover explained. “That’s been a lot of fun!”

This is the first summer the Wabash Center is providing this type of program for the community.

Barngrover said it’s also the only summer camp in the area that serves kids and young adults with disabilities.

“Not having this in the community, there were parents who weren’t able to work in the summer because they had to stay at home with their kids,” Barngrover explained. “So, it has been extremely important to have this program.”

The program serves kids and adults from age 5 to 22.

It runs Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m for $30 per day.

Barngrover said Medicaid is taken as a form of payment.

For more information, call the Wabash Center at 765-423-5531.

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