Things that The Y Camp counselors need to know about Dominic.
~ Dominic has an Autism diagnosis, but his primary area of trouble is speech. He’s very low verbal. He can do 1-2 word statements, mostly around his needs, but is virtually non conversational.
~ While he does not have a lot of the behavior issues associated with Autism you may see some self stimulatory behaviors (spitting and growling are the current ones) and some self injurious behaviors (lately, this has been in the form of pinching or biting his own hands/arms, or hitting his head). Unless another child is actually being impacted, the absolute best way to handle any Stim’s or SIB’s is to give them zero attention. You can redirect him, or you can simply ignore it. He’s doing it in a large part to get attention. If another child is being impacted, you need to redirect Dominic, generally gross motor imitation is the most effective redirect (ex – say “Dominic, do this” followed by clapping or jumping or knocking on the table)
~ Dominic is allergic to Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Peanuts and a variety of legumes. You are NOT to allow him to eat anything that we did not send from home. In his lunch box, you’ll find snacks (2) in the front zipper pouch, and a large lunch in the main pouch. It is iced and will be fine without refrigeration, and does not need to be heated up. He can drink water, please do not give him juice / milk / soda / sports drinks.
~ Dominic has not had elopement issues in a while, but should he elope, please note that officially chasing him will make it a game, and try instead to have an adult fairly nearby (eg close enough to grab rather quickly) when you are not in an easily contained area.
~ Dominic will need some support from counselors for the following:
- tying shoes
- taking off a wet swimming suit
- Anything fine motor (handwriting is a huge struggle, he cannot write his name on anything)
- While he is completely independent in the bathroom, and will tell you when he needs to go, please remind him to wash his hands. He gets excited and forgets.
- If questions are being asked (eg, in a group introduction time) – he’ll need some prompting to say things.He knows his name and his age, but he could very well be quite shy about saying them.
- For gross motor stuff (structured outside play), he’ll catch on quick, but will need some patience.
~ You will see a safety pinned item inside his shirt. Leave it there, please. Even if he asks for you to take it off.
~ Regarding Swimming: Dominic loves the water and will probably BEG to go swimming as soon as he realizes it’s a regular part of the program. Being it water is very calming for him, and he does not like to get out. He has some rudimentary water ability – but we have not had access to a pool for him regularly in about 2 years, so how much is left, I’m not sure.