What Parents Say

AMICA will gladly connect prospective families with other parents in the AMICA community. We welcome your questions and comments. Read a few of our parent testimonials below.

Highly qualified and experienced Camp Director…

Our names are David and Donna Salvati. We are the parents of a special needs child who attended a camp for children with special needs for the last two summers. It was there that we met Stephanie DeSouza.

Stephanie is an excellent, highly qualified and experienced Camp Director. Her program was outstanding and catered to the needs of a diverse group of individuals. She was flexible with meeting the individual needs of her campers, while balancing the needs of the entire group. Our son was eager to go to camp each day and participate and always came home with a smile on his face and stories about the activities he participated in.

Stephanie’s staff was also amazing. The counselors were involved, energetic, and pushed each of the campers to be the best they could be. I believe this is a direct reflection of Stephanie’s guidance and direction to those counselors.

Our son has grown in his social skills as a result of attending Stephanie’s camp. He is now demonstrating many of those skills on an everyday basis at school. Stephanie is a huge asset to the special needs community. We look forward to working with her in the future as she continues to develop programs which will meet the needs of special needs individuals. If you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

David and Donna Salvati

Stephanie’s staff was so amazing…

The counselors were involved, energetic, and pushed each of the campers to be the best they could be. I believe this is a direct reflection of Stephanie’s guidance and direction to those counselors.  Our son has grown in his social skills as a result of attending Stephanie’s camp.  He is now demonstrating many of those skills on an everyday basis at school. Stephanie is a huge asset to the special needs community.” – David and Donna S.

An atmosphere of support…

“While we have experienced his academic progress in the school setting, we have never placed him in the ESY program that his school district offers every summer.  Many parents think we’re foolish, but then they have never met Stephanie DeSouza, the individual that has steered the ship for the Social Skills Camp offered in our community.  Each summer Stephanie and her hand-picked, skilled staff have created an atmosphere of support and clear behavioral expectations that has increased Liam’s confidence, competence, and independence.”

– Tara W.

Making the children better people…

January 11, 2012

Board of Directors, Bucks County Autism Support Coalition, PO Box 660, Warrington, PA 18976

Dear Board of Directors:

I wanted to take this opportunity to endorse AMICA. Having worked with Stephanie DeSouza the last five years, it is a pleasure to recommend her program to you as a potential grant recipient.

My oldest daughter, Jessica, was diagnosed with Asperger’s almost ten years ago. This was such a new addition to the spectrum and there were more questions than options out there. My husband and I wanted Jessica to experience life. Jessica joined Girl Scouts, remained in a regular classroom with an aide and attended summer camp with a shadow. However, this was not enough in the summer to keep her social skills improving over those three months.

My parents live in Bucks County and my mother saw an article about a camp for children on the autism spectrum and the success it had during its first summer. I immediately called Stephanie to arrange to meet her to see if Jessica was appropriate for the camp and the camp was appropriate for her. We drove 90 miles to meet her one Sunday as she interviewed both Jessica and us. She explained the activities and goals the camp would provide. When she said Jess was invited to camp, we knew it was going to be great. We started with two weeks the first two years and then added a third week. My parents each took a week vacation to take her to and from camp and I took a week as well.

Each summer Jessica looks forward to going back to camp. She has friends there and loves the choice of activities offered such as stream stomping, tie-dye and trips to the mall. She even goes back on some weekends to attend the dances because she loves the program. Stephanie each year recommends which weeks would work best for Jessica so she is with her camp friends. I remember fondly the first year Jessica was with the boys because it worked with our schedule. However, she let her opinion be known to Stephanie that was not to happen again. This shows how Stephanie knows her students and supports them in a way that they become independent. She even wants them to come back as peer tutors, which I hope Jess will become one day.

I wish Stephanie would bring AMICA to New York so that more children and their families experience her programs. She is making the children better people.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jessica or myself about AMICA and Stephanie.

Thank you for providing wonderful grants to wonderful organizations.

Sincerely,

Beth Choisez

A “typical” camp experience…

I have known Stephanie DeSouza for the past 3 years as Director of a social skills camp for children on the Autistic spectrum, held at in Newtown, PA. My son Nicolas has attended the camp while under her direction and looked forward to going to camp to be with his friends each summer.

Stephanie has done a wonderful job of providing kids, such as my son, with a “typical” camp experience of a well-rounded day as well as working on the social skills each day that these children desperately need. She also was instrumental to me, working side by side in creating an appropriate behavior/motivational plan for my son when needed.

I would highly recommend that Stephanie be awarded the start-up grant to carry on this critical work in Bucks County.

Sincerely,

Donna L. Park

Provide a critical need in our local community…

My son Liam will turn 17 this year. While we have experienced his academic progress in the school setting, we have never placed him in the ESY program that his school district offers every summer. Many parents think we’re foolish, but then they have never met Stephanie DeSouza, the individual that has steered the ship for the Social Skills Camp offered in our community. Each summer Stephanie and her hand-picked, skilled staff have created an atmosphere of support and clear behavioral expectations that has increased Liam’s confidence, competence, and independence.

We are eagerly looking forward to Stephanie’s newest venture: AMICA. We are confident that she will continue to provide a setting that creates peace of mind for parents during the long 6 week summer break. Through AMICA, Stephanie will be able to provide a critical need in our local community, one that is able to provide our teens and young children on the spectrum with a fun, structured atmosphere where campers’ social skills development and basic life skills are nurtured on a daily basis. I’ve witnessed first-hand how Stephanie’s hard work has helped Liam live more independently and empowered him to become a contributing member of his community.

I hope that in considering AMICA for your grant, it will provide Stephanie with the funding so desperately needed for the development of programs for our children and young adults impaired by this disability.

If I can be of further help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Tara Wigginton