Parent Resources

This page is a place for families to explore various resources we have found helpful for us, our staff, and other Akeela parents.

Jump to:     Books     Films     College Programs     Regional Networks


These books are great reads for parents of our campers as well as recommendations we give to staff before they arrive at camp. Links take you to Amazon Smile, where you can purchase the book AND support a great charity. (Please consider naming CampLauncher your charity of choice!)

Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals – Tony Attwood
Tony Attwood’s guide will assist parents and professionals with the identification, treatment and care of both children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome.

It’s So Much Work To Be Your Friend – Richard Lavoie
Lavoie answers the most intense need of parents, teachers, and caregivers of learning disabled children — or anyone who knows a child who needs a friend.

Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome – Rudy Simone
Aspergirls guides you through every aspect of both personal and professional life, from early recollections of blame, guilt, and savant skills, to friendships, romance and marriage.

In a Different Key: The Story of Autism – John Donvan and Caren Zucker
An extraordinary narrative history of autism: the riveting story of parents fighting for their children ’s civil rights; of doctors struggling to define autism; of ingenuity, self-advocacy, and profound social change.

Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity – Steve Silberman
This New York Times–bestselling book upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently.

Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure – Paul A. Offit, MD
In this book, Paul A. Offit, a national expert on vaccines, challenges the modern-day false prophets who have so egregiously misled the public and exposes the opportunism of the lawyers, journalists, celebrities, and politicians who support them.

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s – John Elder Robison
Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own.

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character – Paul Tough
How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators, who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth
In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success – Julie Lythcott-Haims
A provocative manifesto that exposes the harms of helicopter parenting and sets forth an alternate philosophy for raising preteens and teens to self-sufficient young adulthood.

Homesick & Happy – How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow – Michael Thompson, PhD
We recommend this book to all families send their child to camp for the first time. It dives into how time away from home is essential for the growth of children.

The Loving Push: How Parents and Professionals Can Help Spectrum Kids Become Successful Adults – Temple Grandin, PhD and Debra Moore, PhD
Best-selling author, autism advocate, and animal science professor Dr. Temple Grandin joins psychologist and autism specialist Dr. Debra Moore in spelling out the steps you can take to restore your child’s hope and motivation, and what you must avoid.

Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Full Catastrophe Living is a book for the young and the old, the well and the ill, and anyone trying to live a healthier and saner life in our fast-paced world.

Back to top


We have found these movies to be valuable resources for us, as well as our staff. We often watch one or two of these films each year during orientation to help our staff better understand our campers.

Autism in Love – Autism in Love is a feature length documentary that explores the lives of four autistic adults as they pursue and manage romantic relationships.

Autism the Musical – Autism the Musical is a documentary following a group of children and their families as they prepare to perform an original on stage production.

Billy the Kid – Billy the Kid follows a boy through his adolescence and the struggles that come with it. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome after the making of the film.

Today’s Man – Today’s Man follows a young adult diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome on his quest for independence and finding his place in the world.

How to Dance in Ohio – How to Dance in Ohio is a documentary about a challenges of successes of teens on the spectrum as they prepare for a group prom.

Back to top

College Programs

Many Akeela campers go on to college in different environments. Former campers have had successful experiences in support programs at the universities listed below. With the growing awareness of autism on college campuses nationwide, more and more schools are adopting services like these at their institutions. We encourage you to reach out to programs your child is interested in to see what support services are in place at college programs they are considering.

St. Josephs University – Kinney Center
The Kinney Center ASPIRE Program provides Saint Joseph’s University students who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), assistance in their transition to college.

West Chester University – SPARC
SPARC’s newest program at West Chester University specifically designed to prepare young adults for independent living, as they transition into college or enter into the workforce.

Rochester Institute of Technology
The Spectrum Support Program seeks to provide innovative supports that positively impact the college experience for RIT students with autism spectrum disorders.

Marshall University
The College Program provides individualized skill building and therapeutic supports to degree seeking students with Autism Spectrum Disorder through a mentored environment while navigating a college experience at Marshall University.

Mansfield Hall
Mansfield Hall is an innovative college support program and living and learning community for students with disabilities, who with additional individualized support, have the academic potential to be successful in college.

College Internship Program
The College Internship Program is a comprehensive transition program for young adults on the Autism Spectrum and with Learning Differences.

College Living Experience
College Living Experience (CLE) provides individualized services to young adults with ASD, ADHD, learning differences and varying disabilities in the areas of academics, independent living, social skills and career development at six locations nationwide.

Landmark College
Landmark College’s mission is to transform the way students learn, educators teach and the public thinks about education.

Winston Transitions
Winston Transitions is affiliated with Winston Prep, a school for children with learning differences, with an explicit focus on preparing students for life after high school, whether that be in the workforce or college.

Back to top

Regional Networks

These groups provide support in many different ways to families in their regions. We often attend and exhibit and conferences these networks put together. They’re great resources to use!

Boston & National:
Asperger/Autism Network

New York:
Asperger Syndrome & High Functioning Autism Association

New Jersey:
Asperger / Autism Spectrum Education Network

The Asperger & Autism Alliance for Great Philadelphia

Back to top