ABA Summer Camps

  • Transitions and lack of structure are often difficult for children with autism. The Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) summer camp is a successful model for dealing with these challenges during the summer months, while maintaining a class like environment. The camp features one to one ABA therapy support alongside outdoor activities and community outings. This camp allows children with autism to continue their treatment during the summer months, which helps ease children back into their school routines in September.

    The ABA Summer Camp has been providing a safe and structured environment for children with ASD during the summer since 2010. The Camp is designed to suit the needs of a variety of children with ASD who are participating in an ABA home program.

    Why the ABA Summer Camp?

    School is a wonderful structured place for a child with autism. Transitioning to a summer with less structure than a typical school year can be incredibly challenging for a child with ASD, and can even lead to regressions in September when school reconvenes. The ABA Summer Camp program allows for customizable structure, as well as 1.5 hours/day of one-on-one time for BIs to work on individualized targets. This structure and individualized support is what sets apart the ABA Summer Camp from other summer programs.

    Who benefits from the camp?

    One of the many benefits of the ABA Summer Camp is the broader community it creates for children with autism and also their behavior interventionists. The camp not only allows children to experience social interaction and friendship throughout the summer, but it also provides the opportunity for BIs and social workers to learn from one another’s knowledge and techniques during the camp experience.

    When does the ABA Summer Camp run?

    Typically, our camp runs through the first 6 weeks of the summer. The hours of camp will reflect a typical school day: 9:00am to 2:30pm, Monday through Friday during the summer. Students are welcome to sign up for any number of weeks, and can stay for the entire duration of the 6 week camp period.

    Our Partners

    Our partners make the ABA Summer Camp possible. This summer, we are pleased to be partnering with the Surrey School District and the camp will be held at a South Surrey elementary school (site to be determined).

    Who can attend?

    The ABA Summer Camp is open to students who meet the following three criteria:

    1. The student is participating in an ABA home-based program with a BCBA providing supervision
    2. The student is, at youngest, entering kindergarten the September following camp and, at oldest, entering grade 10 the September following camp
    3. Priority registration will be given to students in the Surrey School District, but out of catchment registrations will also be accepted.

    How can I apply?

    If you are interested in sending your child to camp, please fill out the application form. The ABA Summer Camp team will review the application forms. If your application is approved, you will be sent a link to complete a liability waiver and to submit payment.

    Application Form – Coming Soon!


    Activities and Outings

    Camp leaders plan daily activities and outings for the students. A typical day’s activities might include crafts, snack time, art class and trips into the community. It is important to note that many of the outings involve water, e.g., water parks, pools, beach, and so support staff will need to be comfortable with water.

    Personalized Learning Goals

    In addition to the camp activities, there will also be approximately 1.5 hours during the day for students to work on one-on-one targets with their behavior interventionist. Most often, one-on-one will take place in the morning, with outings to follow most afternoons, and 1 day will be a longer outing.


    Early Registration (April 15th to May 31st): $100 per week
    Regular Registration (After May 31st): $125 per week

    What about Support Workers?

    Families are responsible for recruiting, training and paying their own support staff to accompany their students.

    About the Camp Directors

    Leah Mumford, M.Ed., BCBA

    Leah Mumford is a Behavior Consultant who has worked with children and youth with ASD since 1998. Her work focuses on creating collaborative and dynamic ABA programs in homes and schools.  One of her passions is teaching social skills and building capacity for friendships between individuals with autism and their communities. She has taught on various topics such as social skills, parent support and Special Education Assistant (SEA) training at conferences and workshops throughout the Lower Mainland. Along with Dr. Sara White, Leah has facilitated AutismBC’s ABA Summer Camp for children with autism since 2010.

    Dr. Sara White, PhD, BCBA-D

    Dr. Sara White is currently the Clinical Director of the Sendan Center’s Autism and Behavioral Services.  She completed her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of the Pacific in 2000 and doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Binghamton University in 2005.  She currently works with clients in British Columbia, Washington, and Alaska providing home and school consultation to children with developmental disabilities and disruptive behavior disorders as well as office and home-based cognitive behavior therapy for children with anxiety disorders. She has presented the results of her research and clinical work at professional conferences such as the Association for Behavior Analysis and the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy on topics ranging from interventions to improve employee motivation, to techniques to improve acquisition rates in children with autism. Dr. White has also presented several workshops on behavior management techniques to parents, school personnel, and health care professionals.

    For more information on the camp the ABA Camp Facebook page or email Leah at lmumford@autismbc.ca


    Other Summer Programs/Camps 2017
    for children, teenagers and adults on the autism spectrum


    1. Canucks Autism Network


    604 685 4049


    kids, teens, adults, family, social/sports programs, overnight camps



    Contact Master Michael Sirota for an initial assessment and further information. Tel: 604-244-8842 (Richmond), 604-569-3395 (Vancouver)

    Email: sirota@SirotasAlchymy.com

    web: www.SirotasAlchymy.com


    3. Zajac Ranch


    604-739-0444, info@zajacranch.com

    Overnight camps:

    July 24-28, ASD Camp#1 (age 7-17)

    August 14-18, ASD Camp#2 (age 7-17)

    Young Adult Camps for age 18-40, not autism specific


    4. BC Easter Seals Camps


    camp@lionsbc.ca, 604-873-1865

    Overnight camps for children and teens (age 6-18) with physical and mental disabilities

    Three camp sites: Camp Squamish (north of Vancouver), Camp Winfield (Okanagan Valley), Camp Shawnigan (Vancouver Island)


    5. The YMCA Camp

    Has integrated programs for special needs.

    For more information, visit: http://www.vanymca.org/camps/

    604-939-9622   email: camps@vanymca.org


    6. Eureka Outdoor Camp

    Not a camp for all kids but for some kids all the camp they need


    604-520-1155, info@eurekacamp.ca

    Eureka Outdoor Camp is unique in B.C., specifically for children and adolescents with INVISIBLE DISABILITIES (e.g. Mild autism/Asperger syndrome). This is a term commonly used to describe a range of disorders that are neurologically based and not readily apparent. Generally, the disabilities do not affect the child’s intelligence. In fact, some children with invisible disabilities are also gifted further complicating the diagnosis.


    7. SFU’s Autism Developmental Disorders Lab (addl)


    6th Annual Social Science Camp for children age 7-12

    FREE, fun, educational camp, on SFU Campus in Burnaby

    Saturday July 15th 9am-3pm (for children without ASD)

    Saturday July 22nd 9am-3pm (for children with ASD)


    8. Friend 2 Friend Social Learning Society

    East Vancouver, New West (age 5-14)





    9. ABA Learning Centre

    ASD Summer Jamboree (Summer Camp) – age 6-14 (typical siblings accepted)

    Location: Jones Park 5350 Commercial street, Vancouver

    6 weeks, Tue to Thu, 9am-4pm

    July 11-13, July 18-20, July 25-27

    Aug 8-10, Aug 15-17, Aug 22-24


    Contact Joseph Carpenter joseph@abacentre.ca, 604-232-4122


    10. Club Aviva (Coquitlam)


    For student with developmental challenges; Scholarship available

    Specialized Summer Camps 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday

    The camps focus on social integration, physical development and communication skills. Children and their aides follow a structured and tailored schedule, whether it be an integration with a larger group of children, or a 1:1 session with our Movement Therapists. Activities include Movement Therapy, Aqua Therapy (at Chimo Pool), gymnastics, games, arts and crafts, free play time, quiet time, classroom activities, bike riding, and hiking. The most popular of the activities is bike riding, which is done every day, weather depending.


    11. Pacific Riding for Developmental Abilities (Langley)

    www.prda.ca/our-programs, 604-530-8717

    Summer lessons, therapeutic horseback riding program


    12. Operation Trackshoes


    Annual sports festival for age 6-80 who have a developmental disability.

    University of Victoria

    June 9-11, 2017


    13. Disabled Sailing Association of BC

    http://www.disabledsailingbc.org/calendar_of _events.shtml

    Adapted sailing experiences for children age 8 and older


    14. Play to Learn for Life (Vancouver)


    Zoe Raffard 778-883-3170, zoe@play2learn4life.com

    Occupational Therapy and SLP groups for children and teens


    15. Skilled Kids OT


    Mahshid Hosseini, 604 921 4853 ot@skilledkids.com


    16. Art for Life Therapy

    Art groups for unique artists (Williams Lake, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley)




    17. Pedalheads

    Pedalheads Bike Camps (age 4-12+), adult private lessons

    Heroheads Multisports Half Day Camps (age 4-8)

    For all, not special needs specific

    www.pedalheads.com, 604-874-6464


    18. Variety-the Children’s Charity


    Variety’s Boat for Hope – Vancouver (June 10, 2017)

    An unforgettable experience with pirate adventure for the special needs children and their families out in the water around English Bay, False Creek area with the local boating community, followed by an enjoyable barbeque lunch and entertaining activities in the park.


    19. PRIYD – Summer Youth Program

    Referred by social worker


    20. PosAbilities – for people with developmental disabilities


    *Head Start Summer Camp (employment preparation) age 14-18

    Camp #1: July 10-21 @9:15am-1:15pm

    Camp #2: August 14-25 @9:15am-1:15pm


    *Connect with PEERS Summer Camp (friendship building) age 14-18

    Camp #1: July 10-21 @1:30-3:00pm

    Camp #2: August 14-25 @1:30-3:00pm


    *Summer Blast – age 10-16

    Youth/staff ratio is 4:1. Drop off in Burnaby.

    Variety of activities such as Science World, Aquarium, Playland, BC Sports Hall of Fame, and trips to community parks, may include swimming, bowling and indoor play places.

    Camp #1: July 10-21 @9am-3pm (Mon-Fri)

    Camp #2: July 24-Aug 4 @9am-3pm (Mon-Fri)


    21. Daybreak Consulting (New West/Burnaby)


    604-721-9506, daybreak@yahoo.ca

    July – 3 days/week (students entering Kindergarten) Kindergarten Success program

    August 21-25 (students entering Gr 1-8) focus on preparing children to transition back to school smoothly.


    22. TLC Special Needs Youth Program (Vancouver)

    Kitscc.com 778-723-0020, 604-257-6903

    Kitsilano Community Centre

    Programs for youth age 13-18 with mild to moderate developmental disabilities including autism.


    23. Local City’s programs e.g. City of Vancouver

    Adapted and Integrated Programs




    24. 1 Step Ahead Services (Burnaby)


    604-433-1148 info@1stepahead.ca , Anna Matchneva

    Interactive group program


    25. Pacific Autism Family Centre (Richmond)

    Summer camps/programs for children, teens and adults on the autism spectrum

    From late June to August 2017



    Help us to expand our information list!  If you know any summer programs/camps in B.C. that will benefit children, teenagers or adults on the autism spectrum, please email shui@autismbc.ca. Thank you!



    How to choose summer programs for my child on the autism spectrum?

    Consider your child’s interest, abilities…

    Goals – attainable or not

    Family schedule in the summer

    Where to find resource?  – see attached

    Support – trained person vs volunteers, financial support

    Example: BE ACTIVE:  Swimming, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Horseback Riding…

    Example: DAY CAMP: Sports, Arts, Fieldtrips, Social Skills, Skills for transitioning…

    Example: OVERNIGHT CAMP: family camp, child/teen goes with sibling, child/teen goes himself/herself, adult camp

    How to prepare your child before the summer program/ summer camp?