Dear Michael and Jan,
Your generosity of awarding the camp scholarship for my son Johnny to attend a sports camp out west 2 years ago was the best gift he could have received. As a result of attending this sports camp, he overcame many obstacles and fears from the experience of trying rock climbing, a high ropes course, kayaking, all things outside of his comfort zone. This was done in a staffed and autism-supportive environment. What transcended; Johnny could carry the self-confidence of trying skills and sports outside of his comfort zone during this camp and use them in the classroom during the school year.
This year he graduated high school after many years of special education with his individualized education program (IEP). A middle school teacher who has been following Johnny’s progress had heard about this camp and took an interest in my son and how he made his way through school. She attended his graduation, and remarked that she saw the most change in his confidence and control after he attended the outdoor sports camp. If it wasn’t for Michael from ASDF granting my son this scholarship, we wouldn’t see all this growth potential.
Also I want to thank Michael again for the camper-ship this year to an outdoor recreational wilderness trip that promotes inclusion for people with disabilities. He could now utilize his outdoor skills in a more adult setting. Johnny canoed, and hiked and was able to explore the outdoors.
Thank you for all your support. It has been life changing. Not all growth is academic, some is acquired by experiencing the outdoors and pushing past your comfort zone.
Donna and Johnny