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Our consultant Tom Croke visited this program's key staff while in Utah in September 2009. A more detailed review based upon that visit is being developed. For now we want to be clear that this is a program that we respect and appreciate.
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Aspiro includes its basic wilderness program for a general under 18 population. It also offers Vantage Point wilderness for a population under 18 high functioning youth with autism spectrum disorders, Aspergers Syndrome, Pervasive Development disorder and perhaps non-verbal learning disorder. Finally, it offers the Kairos program for young adults up to age 30.
In all cases, Aspiro does its best to minimize the negative impact of being away from home and in an unfamiliar, potentially anxiety producing, setting. Aspiro stresses opportunities for achievement and sense of accomplishment, minimizing what many young people might find unpleasant. They have attempted to include as many activities as possible that kids would think of as fun.
We are generally hesitant about sending young people with anxiety issues to wilderness, as we are with kids on the PDD/ Aspergers spectrum. We still are cautious about that, but Aspiro's Vantage Point Program makes wilderness the best it can be for a person on the PDD / Autism spectrum. We have used the Vantage point program very successfully.
Aspiro has developed a close affiliation with Daniels Academy, which is now, for practical purposes, part of the Aspiro family.
We hope to expand this review in the near future. Meanwhile, have confidence that this is a truly special approach delivered with excellence.
While you wait for us to present a more complete review, please look around this website. Look at our Guidelines -- a fairly comprehensive statement of what we believe quality is all about. If you come to a search and planning process with limited experience, this is an opportunity for you to find some principles to measure schools and programs against.
Disclaimer: No program review, no matter how positive, is a blanket endorsement. No criticism is a blanket condemnation. When we express our level of confidence in a school or program, that is our subjective opinion with which others might reasonably disagree. When we assert something as fact, we have done our best to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that all of our information is accurate and up to date. When we address compliance with our guidelines, you need to remember that these are only OUR guidelines -- not guidelines from an official source. We have also set the bar very high, and do not expect any school or program to be in total compliance. It is not appropriate to draw a conclusion of impropriety (or even failure to live up to conventional wisdom) from our lack of confidence in a school or program or from less than perfect conformity to our guidelines. Some will say we expect too much. Readers are responsible for verifying accuracy of information supplied here prior to acting upon it. We are not responsible for inaccuracies.
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Last updated 1-8-2011
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