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Morgan Gay, at left, and Stephen Howard, at right, help Demetrius Starling with his bowling game at field trip to a bowling alley. The children were a part of the annual Moultrie Summer Club that allows children with developmental disabilities to interact with children without disabilities.

The Easter Seals Organization provides services and support to ensure that people living with autism and other disabilities have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play. Supporting this philosophy, each summer Easter Seals sponsors a children’s camp in Colquitt County that targets autism and other developmental delays and disabilities.

The day camp, which is known as the Moultrie Summer Club, was held June 13 through June 23 at Trinity Baptist Church under the direction of Jean Gay and Angie Meadows. The group includes a mixture of typical children to provide appropriate role models and children with developmental and social delays, according to a press release from Easter Seals. In this setting, friendships have been created that carry over into other areas of community activity, as well as classroom settings in the public schools, the press release said.

At the camp, daily group time provides an opportunity to focus on a different social skill with modeling to reinforce the skill. Games and crafts provide opportunity for turn-taking and requesting materials to complete a project. Opportunities to interact in the community are provided by field trips to businesses where the children practice independence in making choices and handling money.

In the United States, 17 percent of children have a developmental or behavioral disability such as autism, intellectual disabilities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the press release said. In addition, many children have delays in language or other areas, which also impact school readiness.

Since social skills are the entryway to all relationships that involve two or more people, the person without positive social skills will find true inclusion in the community and workplace to be elusive, Easter Seals said. The club provides an environment where children learn to encourage other children to participate and where all the children can daily put into action the social skills they learn.

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