Asap Summer Camp

What is ASAP?

Autism Spectrum Addressing Pragmatics

ASAP is an intensive summer program that addresses pragmatic language for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome and PDD between the ages of 3-8. We offer two, 4-week sessions. Children can participate in one or both sessions. Each child's needs are unique; therefore, delayed pragmatic skills need to be individually assessed and addressed. The program is designed and run by Certified Speech-Language Pathologists and other specialists who tailor each child's program to meet his/her unique needs. ASAP is run in tandem with our LEAP program to ensure that opportunities to interact with typically developing children as peer models are created.

What is Pragmatic Language?

Social skills or "pragmatics" are a vital part of living and functioning in our world today. Pragmatic language is defined as "the social use of language: Use of language & communication behaviors needed to interact effectively and appropriately with others."

Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome, or PDD have difficulties learning the complex understanding of social interaction. They are challenged to acquire the "unspoken" rules of social behavior. Usually children pick up these skills through experience and learn from interactions. Children with disabilities sometimes lack the understanding to learn from their life experiences and have more difficulty with social skills. These special children often need to be directly taught these critical life skills.

Acquiring social skills is a vital part of a child's development.

What Skills will the Curriculum Focus On?

ASAP's curriculum focuses on three major communication skills:

  • Using language for different purposes -- such as greeting, informing, demanding, promising, and requesting.
  • Adapting or changing language according to the needs or expectations of a listener or situation -- such as talking differently to a baby than to an adult, giving enough background information to an unfamiliar listener, talking differently in a classroom than on a playground.
  • Following rules for conversations and narrative (e.g., telling stories, describing personal experiences, recounting events of the day); rules for taking turns in conversation, introducing topics of conversation, staying on the topic, rephrasing when misunderstood, and telling a story. Understanding rules for appropriate use of nonverbal signals in conversation: distance between speaker and listener, facial expressions, and eye contact.

What Areas of Social Language are Addressed?

ASAP will tailor each child's program examining the specific needs of the following skills:

  1. Pragmatic Skills: topic maintenance, turn-taking, speech functions, speech pleasantries, peer language, speech style, spatial proximity, nonverbal language.
  2. Problem Solving: sequencing, cause & effect, identifying problems, posing a cause, predicting outcomes, formulating solutions, considering options, avoiding problems.
  3. Language Processing: answering /wh/ questions, time-response, associations, repeating questions, staying on task, following rules, reinforcement, processing time.
  4. Idiomatic Language: idioms/proverbs, similes/metaphors, humor and sarcasm, concrete language.
  5. Pragmatic Prosody: appropriate use of pitch, volume, intonation/rhythm of speech.
  6. Language Activities: script, role-play, social stories, facial expressions, body language, and language cohesion.