Altitude at Via is a fun recreational summer camp experience that uniquely takes into consideration our participants’ strengths and challenges, promoting growth during a critical stage of their development.
Why Altitude at Via?
At Altitude at Via, we understand how difficult it can be to think about transitioning into the middle school and high school years; this transition marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new and exciting, but stressful time in a child’s life. It is with understanding about this pivotal time, combined with our knowledge of working with special children and their families, that we have created Altitude – a fun and enriching camp experience that provides participants with support in preparing for and navigating the journey that lies ahead.
The transition from childhood to adolescence and young adulthood is an exciting, dynamic and challenging period of development for children (and their parents!) It is characterized by new opportunities, as well as increased academic, social, and emotional demands.
Moving from elementary school to middle school and then to high school, the academic and social demands increase considerably. Academically, the focus moves from the concrete to include more abstract thinking. The application and integration of knowledge becomes more important than just memorization. In many schools, students are expected to transition to different classrooms independently and assume responsibility for organizing and managing materials and assignments. Larger reports and projects are assigned and, of course, there are the standardized tests, all of which require higher levels of planning and time management.
It is also at this stage that children’s bodies are changing as they experience puberty. It is a time of hormones and confusing emotions and a time during which they are trying to better understand themselves, develop their own identity, and figure out their place in the world, in relation to their families, but also their peers.
Socially, it is during the later years of elementary school and the beginning of middle school, that peer relationships become increasingly important in children’s lives. In addition, social demands escalate, and it becomes even more necessary for children to be able to engage in conversational exchanges, recognize nonverbal cues, realize who is a true friend, demonstrate self-awareness, identify social norms, and understand the unwritten rules of social relationships.
Navigating the Journey
These transitions and changes are stressful for all children – and ESPECIALLY for those who experience social cognitive challenges, since it is a phase that calls into play many of the tasks that represent and define their differences.
This is why Altitude at Via focuses on our participants’ from a developmental perspective. Our hope is that by providing our participants with a warm, understanding, fun and supportive learning environment, they will grow socially and emotionally, build self esteem, and develop the skills that will help them to more successfully navigate middle school, high school, and beyond.