Top NYC Special Education Camps

The Quad Manhattan

Located downtown at the Spruce Street School in Frank Gehry’s Beekman Tower, The Quad Manhattan incorporates “The Social Thinking” framework where children build specific skills and then generalize them into the community.

Campers will be in state of the art facilities and near the water, which makes it perfect for outdoor activities! It is a 3:1 ratio with a maximum of 10 children per group. The teachers all have a special education background and instruction and fun is tailored for each child.

One thing that definitely makes this program stand out is integration, since typically developing peers also attend.

Big Apple Day Program

This is a co-ed 6-week social skills camp for children with mild-to-moderate social difficulties such as ADHD, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS, NVLD, anxiety, and learning difficulties.  What makes this program special is the evidence-based social skills training, focus on improving life skill competencies, individualized and support as well as academic classroom learning and tutoring.

According to the research, children ages 7-8 experienced an overall 18% increase in social competence, while children ages 9-11 experienced an overall 26% increase. There is a staff to child ratio of 1 to 2 with small peer groupings.

Camp Ramapo

If you are looking for a traditional camp experience for your child, choose Camp Ramapo!  It is located in the beautiful outdoors of Rhinebeck, NY.  It is the best fit for children with social, emotional, or learning challenges as well as children with autism. The goals for this program include improving peer relationships, increasing communication, promoting self-confidence, becoming independent, and encountering new adventures. They have an outstanding staff training program and impressive one to one staff to student ratio.

Kicking the Spectrum

This is a great alternative if your child is interested in activities such as soccer, karate, and yoga.  They also intertwine music, arts, and crafts into the camp day! It is located at the McCarton Center on the Upper East Side. It is the perfect opportunity to encourage socializing, improve self-confidence, and increase awareness.

Diverse Group of Children


Camp Bari Tova & Camp Tova

The 92Y offers this camp option for children ages 5-13 with learning and developmental disabilities. Camp Tova is run in small group settings. The focus is on social, emotional, and physical growth. They swim daily and participate in sports, arts, and nature activities. On Fridays, campers go on field trips to places such as the beach, zoo, amusement park, etc.

Camp Bari Tova is specifically for children with severe developmental disabilities. The counselors have an education background and it is a one to one ratio of teacher to student in order for students to receive the necessary individualized attention.

Camp Green Tree

Open to current, potential, and non-Aaron School students, Camp Green Tree is perfect for campers ages 4-13 with learning and social challenges. There are 3 weeks to choose from.  The first week is called “Passport Around the World”, the second is “Inside the Kitchen”, and the last is “Become a Mad Scientist”.

The program makes sure to have a small student to teacher ratio, maintain academic skills, provide an enriched recreational program, and promote socialization. Clinical services are also available at an extra cost.

Watch Me Grow Camp

Looking for the ultimate summer camp for Preschoolers? Watch me Grow may be a great option for your child! Led by a licensed occupational therapist, this a 6-week program for children of all developmental levels. It focuses on socialization, language, and motor skill development through indoor sensory gym activities and outdoor activities. Locations include Gramercy and the Upper West Side.

There is also a sensory intensive 2-week summer program run by National Autism Society, a Toddler Summer Camp, and Budding Buddies Social Group.

Surfers Healing Camp

Based in Long Island, this is one of the best camp experiences for children with autism!  Their ultimate goal is to foster understanding and acceptance of autism. Volunteers and experienced surfers teach children how to surf. There is no better way for your child to experience something new and in turn increase their self-confidence once they are successful.

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Gift of Gab Resources 1-855-SPEAK-HELP are:
Debbie Shiwbalak, M.A., CCC-SLP [email protected]
Alpin Rezvani, M.A., CCC-SLP [email protected]

Alpin Rezvani, M.A., CCC-SLP, graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA). She has New York licensure in Speech-Language Pathology and earned her degree as a Teacher of the Speech and HearingHandicapped. She was an adjunct instructor at New York University and was a speech-language pathologist for the New York City Department of Education. She now practices privately and is co-owner of Gift of Gab Resources. She co-authored three chapters (Community-Based Speech-Language Pathology; Joint Action Routines; Feeding & Language Strategies for Mealtime) in the latest version of “Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism” and is PROMPT trained. She provides speech and language workshops for families and professionals throughout New York City.

Debbie Shiwbalak, M.A., CCC-SLP, is an undergraduate of St. John’s University where she received her Baccalaureate of Arts in Speech Pathology in 1999, and is a graduate of Long Island University-CW Post Campus, where she received a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology in 2001. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed by the state of New York to practice speech-language pathology. Debbie is PROMPT trained and has had 13 years experience as a speech pathologist in the New York City area and has been in private practice for 7 years. She is also the co-founder of Gift of Gab Resources. Debbie has co-authored the chapter on ‘Feeding & Language Strategies for Mealtime’ in the latest version of “Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism”. She provides speech and language workshops for families and professionals throughout New York City.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

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