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About Carousel Farm's Summer Program

Carousel Farm is a summer day program serving teenagers and young adults with learning disabilities (mild intellectual disabilities), and mild autistic spectrum disorders (Asperger's Syndrome), ages 14 - 21 years. The program will begin its thirty-sixth season this year!

Program Highlights

At Carousel Farm, children and young adults are provided opportunities to learn, maintain, and improve skills through participation in various activities of high interest to them, including:

  • skills to help them participate in community recreational activities such as swimming, horseback riding, music, dance, gardening, crafts, and sports activities;
  • skills to teach the use of community resources such as attendance at movie theaters, bowling lanes, shopping, and restaurants;
  • vocational skills training such as actively participating in apprenticing at Rainbow Academy in areas of child care, serving food, cleaning and building maintenance, farm animl care, garden and grounds keeping, and small office tasks;
  • skills to improve socialization, self regulation, and emotional security in a manner that builds friendships and fosters self-esteem

Pre- Vocational Skill Training mixed with Recreational Skill Fun!

Carousel Farm is located on an idyllic five acre farm in middle Bucks County.  The setting allows itself to bring opportunities for leisure skills to teens, as well as a perfect setting for job training.  Listed below are opportunities for growth:

1.  There are fields and courts for sports play and heated pools for swimming.  There are opportunities to participate in music, dance, art, and horseback riding activities.  These activities foster social skill development, self-help skills, and teach leisure activities.

 2.  There are two petting zoos, which allow for friendship with the farm animals (goats, chickens, sheep, a donkey, and pony), as well as opportunities to learn to care for the petting zoos through feeding, cleaning, and maintenance of the animals and their homes.

 3. There is a green house and gardens to enjoy for their aesthetic value, as well as to learn the horticultural skills of plant and flower management and care.

 4. There is a food service that supplies snacks and lunch to the summer program.  This gives opportunities for employment skills such as silverware rolling, cleaning and preparation of the lunch, serving the lunch (by greeting campers and offering choices), packing up and cleaning up after the lunch.

 5.  Rainbow Academy, a summer day camp for children ages twelve months through twelve years on the property, offers opportunities for Carousel Farm teens to apprentice as “junior counselors” in loving and caring for the needs of the young children.  Under the direction of a teacher at all times, as well as job coaches, the teens can learn decision making, problem solving, and supporting others.

 6.  A camp store, which sells trinkets and candy to the campers of Rainbow Academy, lends itself to pre-vocational skills of learning money and being able to work in a store.  Teens will learn to put price stickers on goods, greet their “customers”, give change, and count the proceeds.

 

Summer 2016 will be the thirty-sixth season for Carousel Farm.  The program is licensed by the Department of Education, Private Academic Schools.  Staff members are trained in special education.  Junior counselors serve as mentors and role models for the teens.  The camaraderie and trust that forms between the teens and staff are what makes the program truly unique. 

Criteria for Enrollment

In order to assure that the program is comprised of a group of teens who will optimally benefit from the program, a brief intake process has been devised.  Criteria for admittance is as follows:  1) teens and young from 14 – 25 years of age who are emotionally and behaviorally stable, eager to join a social community, and motivated to gain greater independence.; 2) teens and youn adults with mild developmental disorders or mild autistic spectrum disorder who are capable and compliant of following simple basic directions with minimal supervision;  3) teens or oyung aults who do 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.

Future Community Transition

Teenagers who attend are offered opportunities to develop transition-related skills. This program involves the following: training for a job interview, fostering a sense of responsibility by each young adult having a weekly “camp duty” (gardening, maintenance, snack making, camp store etc.) that they learn to articulate, and developing an understanding of social situations that may be encountered. Role playing and social stories are utilized for this training. We hope to assist our teenagers in becoming special members of our community by bringing their creativity and zest for life into various job and community experiences.

 Extended School Year Program

Carousel Farm is licensed by the Department of Education, Private Academic Schools. With this certificate in place, public school districts have used our site for children to receive an Extended School Year Program. Our teachers, trained in special education, follow goals and monitor progress from an individual education plan (IEP). It is possible, should a school district desire, to receive private therapy at Carousel Farm, as part of the ESY program. There are tuition rates for this program listed on the application.