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Media Memo: Teens with Asperger's Attend Camp Campus Through June 12

TO: News Editors and Directors

FROM: Julie Poquette, Editor

DATE: June 9, 2009

SUBJECT: Teens with Asperger's attend Camp Campus through June 12

Nine high school students with Asperger's syndrome are spending this week on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus to get a sense of what it will be like to attend college.

The teens, from west-central Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, are attending the first Camp Campus offered by UW-Eau Claire's Center for Communication Disorders. The program is specifically for students entering their junior or senior years of high school who have Asperger's and plan to go to college.

The camp, funded through a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, is intended to help teens and young adults develop the skills they need to succeed in school, work and life settings. This is the first of what is hoped to be a yearly camp opportunity.

Camp participants will be introduced to services available on most campuses, such as admissions, counseling services and services for students with disabilities, and have opportunities to explore careers, meet professors and participate in fitness programs.

The camp also will give the teens, who are staying in the university residence halls, opportunities to get to know other future college students and to improve their social communication skills. Sessions are offered for parents of the campers as well.

The camp is a multi-agency collaborative effort, with sessions led by university faculty, staff and graduate students as well as by representatives from Royal Credit Union and United Cerebral Palsy.

Reporters are welcome to observe, videotape and photograph Camp Campus sessions. For schedule information and to learn more about Camp Campus, contact Dr. Kristine Retherford, chair of UW-Eau Claire's communication sciences and disorders department, by phone at 715-836-4905 or 715-577-6546 or by e-mail at retherk@uwec.edu.

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