Spring Break is gone,but Summer is around the Corner.

Spring Break is gone,but Summer is around the Corner.

  What did you do for Spring Break? Nothing fun, fresh or exciting well, I can honestly say, my spring break was better than yours and let me tell you why.  I volunteered at Autism Spectrum The camp hosted by The South Pinellas Autism Project. The Day camp location is at a local YMCA in the city of Saint Petersburg, Florida. While other kids are attending the YMCA children, who are on the Spectrum as well as have other neuro-developmental challenges as well. It is a camp within a camp.


As a social worker who works with Intellectually Disabled and Autistic children, one of my many challenges is finding resources for parents especially when it comes to activities for their children during break time like for example, is the camp equipped to handle my child and all of his needs?  Other concerns for example, what if my kid has a maladaptive episode?  Can my child bring his IPAD?

Matt Wiseman is Executive Director for the South Pinellas Autism Project, which launched in April 2016. Matt is a father of three boys, the youngest of whom is on the Autism Spectrum.

The camp accepts kids from as young as five years old up until the age of 13 years old.  At the camp, kids have the ability to join Spring Break with staff who understands their unique needs. At the camp, the children have the ability to be in quiet areas with the electronic devices as well as be social with other kids. The camp comes equipped with staff that is specifically trained to handle maladaptive behaviors. According to one of the South Pinellas Autism Project Chairperson, Rob Capuano, reports, “Our goal is to have a safe and fun camp, that accommodates kids who have challenging behavior and development issues,” says SPAP Chair Rob Capuano. “At the same time, we want to encourage them to build on positive behaviors and academic strengths.” A camp is a safe place for children who are on the Spectrum.

kids playing tug-a -war

The children have the ability to play with their own electronics. The children stay busy with a detailed scheduled created by staff. Activities include playing the Xbox with games named Fruit Ninja and Just Dance. The children have an opportunity play outside in the play ground twice a day. Children have snack time as well as lunch. These meals are not included and must be provided by parent/ guardians.

The South Pinellas Autism Project past camps have been in Winter Camp in 2016 and they will also create a Summer Camp as well in summer of 2017. The camp is located on the Greater St. Pete YMCA’s Central Campus, which is just off I-275 and easily accessible from all of South Pinellas and Eastern parts of Clearwater and Safety Harbor. Central Campus is at 5175 45th St N in St Petersburg, FL 33714. Hours are weekdays 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. The cost is $150 a week, and there is tuition assistance available. The first day of camp is May 30th, and it will run about 10 weeks until early August. 

kid on swing

If one is interested in volunteering or gaining more information about The South Pinellas Autism project can be found https://www.facebook.com/SouthPinellasAutism/

Spring Fling

Spring Fling

I recently attended a Father- Daughter/ Mother- Son Dance presented by Amazing Kidz Therapy, PLLC.  The fundraiser event was to raise money for The Autism Speaks Walk. The children that were in attendance ranged from grades K- 5. The children dressed in their Sunday best dancing to famous artists such as Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake. The dance floor was rarely empty; at some points more adults were dancing on the floor then the children.


Amazing Kidz Therapy provides premier pediatric occupational therapy services to children from birth to the age of 18. Quality care and customer experience are the cornerstones of this agency.  Amazing Kidz Therapy believes every child is unique and deserves services that reflect the same to maximize their independence within all of their natural settings, including home, school, and play.

Amazing Kidz Therapy believes therapy is not just performed within the therapy clinic, but are continues throughout a child’s home and school environments through collaboration with all involved in the child’s care.  Amazing Kidz Therapy provides at home resources to parents and caregivers to assist in continuing progress throughout the week. There programs and specialties include but not limited to:

Handwriting Support

Handwriting Groups

30-minute handwriting groups are tailored to meet the needs of children that are having difficulty with the physical act of writing.

Amazing Kidz Therapy utilizes the Handwriting Without Tears® approach, which includes first learning letter formation with a multi-sensory approach and then progressing to putting pencil to paper.  A systematic approach for learning letter formation is utilized to solidify rudimentary skills and then building upon those for more complex writing strokes.

girl in a tutu dancing

Fine Motor Coordination and Strengthening

Fine motor skills are required to perform activities such as handwriting, eating, playing and manipulating smaller objects, self-care skills, and skills needed for success in academic setting.


Self -Care, Life and Social Skills

Activities of daily living references the everyday tasks that one participates into care for themselves: dressing, bathing, hygiene, eating, grooming, toileting, etc.  For some children, learning and developing these skills can be hard and daunting tasks. Occupational Therapy works towards breaking down the steps and skills required for each age appropriate task to assist in increase the child’s independence and build their confidence and much more.


About the Owner: Kathleen Pici, OTR/L, and CAS

Kathleen attended Utica College of Syracuse University where she received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 2002. She is Certified Autism Specialist through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Standards.  Her experience spans evaluating and treating a variety of populations including (but not limited to) Autism and ASD, Sensory Processing Disorders, Behavioral Disturbances, Down Syndrome, Selective Mutism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ODD, ADHD, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Torticollis and congenital neurogenic motor disturbances.  Her evaluations and treatments are centered on the whole child to ensure that all needs are addressed to allow the child to maximize their development and thrive within their multitude of environments.


you can find  Amazing Kidz here https://www.amazingkidztherapy.com/ and call follow them here https://www.facebook.com/amazingkidztherapy/