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Frequently Asked Questions

Who attends Carousel Farm? 

Carousel Farm serves teenagers with learning disabilities (mild intellectual disabilities) and mild autism (Asperger's Syndrome), ages fourteen through twenty-one years of age.  A brief intake process has been devised to assure that the program is optimal for each person.  Teens must be emotionally and behaviorally stable, eager to join a social community, and motivated to gain greater independence. Teens must be able to follow simple basic directions with minimal supervision.  Teens must not pose a threat to the safety and well-being of self or others.  Children who are or can be physically or verbally aggressive or threatening are not suitable for this program.  Teens must be able to move between an indoor and outdoor setting around young children and neuro-typical peers.

How do I know that Carousel Farm is the right place for my child?

We would love for you to come and tour our program.  On your visit, you and your teenager will meet with Dan LaGrotte, the program director.  You will be able to share information about your child, visit our farm friends, and find out more about our program.  Each applicant to the program must submit a recommendation form from a teacher who observes the teenager in a group setting.

What should my teenager bring to Carousel Farm each day?

Teenagers enrolled will need to bring a small backpack or gym bag that includes a bathing suit, towel, plastic bag for a wet bathing suit, and a bag lunch (unless purchasing lunch).  

What do I do if my teenager takes medicine during the day?

If your child requires medication at camp, you must fill out a “medication release” form.  Our nurse will distribute daily medications and should always be contacted if there are changes in the medication routine of your child.    If your teeneceives medication during the school year for anxiety, hyperactivity, depression, etc. please do not make any changes without informing us.  Summertime is a time when children should be engaged and having fun; sometimes, medication changes can cause behavioral variations in children and they are not able to fully participate in activities and act like “themselves.”  Our nurse is a wonderful resource with regard to monitoring medication of children with special needs.

When will I know what my teenager's schedule will be?

At the Open House, we will give your teen his/her schedule of activities.  This schedule will reflect the program activities, including vocational training, swimming, horseback riding, art, music, dance, sports activities, Life Skills, nature, etc.  All teenagers will swim daily for forty five minutes as a group.  It is possible that your teen will also swim again if he/she is an apprentice junior counselor for Rainbow Academy.  The schedule reflects a balance of indoor and outdoor activities in order to provide respite from the heat (the school building is air-conditioned).  

How will I know when my child is being picked up and dropped off from camp?

If your child is being transported by us, your child's driver will contact you the week prior to camp to arrange a pick-up and drop-off time.  As noted on the application, we will attempt to transport children door to door, however there are times when there is a designated meeting spot for a route.  Please take this into consideration when arranging travel time and morning/afternoon routines.  There is an aide assigned to each van route that will assist the children with getting on and off the van and support children on the drive to Carousel Farm. 

What vocational activities will my teenager be involved in?  

Teens attending Carousel Farm will receive a letter in late Spring describing the pre-vocational opprtunitites available to them.  They will choose "priority" activities.  The directors of the camp will address each individual priority in creating summer "schedules" for the participants.  All teens will be urged to "try" each pre-vocational activity throughout the summer.