Camp Giant Steps is a six-week summer program specifically designed for children with autism spectrum disorders.

The children start their camp day in small-group activities: Art, Music, Games, Cooking, Computer, Movement, and Smart Board. The older students spend mornings helping others in the community, where they work in a variety of settings, practicing life skills.

Each day, approximately 75 kids, counselors, and team leaders, board school buses and head out to visit area attractions.  An array of sites offering activities such as trampoline, bowling, gymnastics, water parks, and playgrounds, provide a fun-filled day of exercise and entertainment.  Other local favorites, such as the Science Center, St. Louis Zoo, Magic House, and Grant’s Farm, are also included on the summer agenda.

Camp Giant Steps provides one counselor for each camper to ensure safety and enhance learning. This one-to-one support ensures that campers are able to participate safely and engage fully in all activities. The counseling staff is composed of teaching assistants from the Giant Steps school program, and from other school districts, including college students studying this field of work.

All group activities are designed and led by the Giant Steps’ teachers and therapists.

Summer camp is in session 9am. – 3pm, Monday-Friday, late June through July.

Social Skills

All Giant Steps students participate in social skills classes with small groups of peers, usually 2 to 4 children per session.

The Social Skills class was created with the primary goal to teach students how to learn skills such as; how to sit at a table with others, engage in an activity, take a turn, wait for others to play, and learn how to win and lose. When you walk into this class you will see a wide variety of games to entice every child, at every level and ability.

We have seen our children develop, and the teachers help the students learn how to appropriately interact with peers, as well as how to be cooperative in group settings.

Students may be building a pretend zoo, working intently in a social skills workbook, practicing imitation skills, or learning how to have conversations with friends. Others are building with Legos, or matching their faces to different emotions.

These activities allow the children to learn important social skills while experiencing a fun classroom environment.