Talisman Camps for Exceptional Children


Talisman Programs provide young people with learning differences exceptional opportunities to increase self-confidence, independence, motivation and social competence in a safe and nurturing environment.

Talisman camps are where kids fit in, where they feel comfortable and normal, and where they are guided in supportive ways to be positive community members and good friends. Talisman campers often return year after year, building on both skills and relationships in a place where they can excel and be appreciated for who they are. Talisman camps provide the same exciting, creative and fun experience that every camp seeks to provide, along with the support that our campers need to succeed and thrive.

For more than 40 years, Talisman Programs have provided opportunities for youth who struggle with the challenges of ADHD, learning differences, high-functioning autism or Aspergers to develop physical and social competence in an atmosphere that encourages and supports self-regulation and self-direction. We help campers practice problem solving, conflict resolution and accepting responsibility.

Talisman camps teach children with high-functioning autism, ADHD and other special needs life skills and emotional management, which they can apply to real life situations. This is done through a variety of Challenge by Choice activities and use of the group process. Challenge by Choice allows a camper to set reachable goals and determine their own level of success through activities such as rock climbing, backpacking and technical tree climbing. The group process involves using peers, staff and self as tools for assessing your decisions and accepting responsibility for yourself and your choices.

During their stay at Talisman, campers have the opportunity to practice good decision-making and manage the
consequences of poor decisions. This knowledge can be taken away from the program and applied at home
and school to improve relationships with friends, parents and teachers. Most importantly, this knowledge
allows our youth to feel good about themselves and be okay with their own differences. In the end, our
summer camp for exceptional children is not so different from other camps. Talisman
camps strive, above all, to provide a positive and fun environment in which our campers feel accepted and