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Our Service Limitations, Behavioral Policies

Special Needs Camper Program

For children with special needs, ages 5-11


Important Registration Information




We require IEPs, and other documents, so we can provide the best program to meet your child's needs. You can get an electronic copy from your child's school case manager (It DOES NOT have to be a signed copy!). Let the case manager know your request is time sensitive. Completed applications, which include an IFSP, IEP, or 504 plan (if your child has one), will be reviewed in the order received.


Once your application has been reviewed by our camp directors you will receive an email letting you know the status of your application.

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I'm Super Yak and I am the camp mascot. I solve problems with my thinking brain and calm body. I am excited for all campers to make new connections!

"Camp has been such a wonderful experience for my son. His increased social communication and flexibility skills learned at camp have helped him both at school and within our family. Thank you Camp Yakety Yak staff and volunteers for all you do!"

- Parent of special needs camper, via online survey

The Registration fee of $100 per week applies to the participant's total tuition, but is non-refundable.

Learn More About the Special Needs Camper Program
Characteristics of Campers with Special Needs

Why do Campers with Special Needs have a 2-Week Minimum?

  • On an IEP (if in public school) or disability is  suspected

  • Special Education provided in general education class

  • May have boundary/personal space issues (personal safety concerns)

  • May struggle with group participation/sharing/ collaborating/learning in classroom or extracurricular environments without support

  • May have sensory sensitivities to noise, taste, smells, textures, etc.

  • May have average or high academics, but delays in social, emotional, or behavioral skills compared to peers

  • Tends to “overreact” to situations that are relatively small

  • Some difficulty making or keeping friendships

  • May have trouble following directions or handling authority

  • Difficulty meeting expectations at home, school, socially

  • Difficulty expressing thoughts and feelings as well as peers

  • Some compliance with adult direction/participation challenges at school/home

  • Needs adult assistance or supervision for many activities, including playdates, not at independence level of peers

Special Needs Program Features
  • Individualized camper goal targeted on daily basis

  • Professional Faculty of Masters-Level therapists and educators design and supervise camp curriculum focused on improving social interaction skills in fun, weekly-themed activities including: cooking, science, art and games.

  • Multisensory instruction, hands-on learning activities that is designed  to engage neurotypical children, with support provided for individual campers with special needs.

  • Sensory strategies to support camper attention and emotional regulation designed by occupational therapist

  • Visual supports in form of visual schedule and reminders of what is expected designed and supervised by speech pathologist

  • Positive adult/teen attention for strengths and abilities

  • A one-to-one assistant assigned to children, if needed, for safety/full participation (about 20% of special needs campers) - this may be a graduate student or high-school volunteer

  • Individual behavioral incentive plans, for children with mild-to-moderate compliance, attention, participation challenges (about 15% of campers with special needs)

  • 25 to 100 Hours of Therapy-Inspired Instruction (depending on how many sessions your camper attends)

  • Consultation & support from a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, behavior therapist, special education teacher, physical therapist and counselor, if additional support is needed

  • Written Camper Progress Note at the end of camp describing the social-emotional skills & strategies camper was taught at camp

  • Daily Feedback from camp staff about child's day

  • Camp Yakety Yak T-Shirt

  • Camp photos and links to view camp photos, end-of-camp slideshow

  • All Camp curriculum, visual Supports and items created for and by the Camper

  • All specialty materials and supplies to complete camp projects, Including Ingredients for our cooking class

  • "Adult Yak" Parent Support Meetings each Monday after drop off

  • Child Care Connections list specially trained respite and child care providers

  • Resource list of local services, referrals for assistance during school year (upon request)


Our campers come from every city in the tri-county area as well as a greater distance including Salem, Gresham, and Camas, WA.


We appreciate the effort families invest to participate in camp each day.

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Not sure which program

is right for your child?

Contact us by email and we can set up a time to talk over the phone to determine which program will be best for your camper.

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