Biddeford will host a new summer camp for children with autism, city officials announced Tuesday.

The development of the two-week pilot program, Finding the Pieces, was spearheaded by City Councilor Robert Quattrone in collaboration with the Biddeford School Department, University of New England and the Autism Society of Maine. It is modeled after a camp at the University of Maine at Farmington that has worked with children with autism spectrum disorder for the past 14 years.

The camp will run Aug. 7-18.

Students in UNE’s health, wellness and occupational studies program will serve as camp counselors and provide one-on-one care and support for children. The camp concept was developed and is being implemented by the UNE Occupational Therapy Department and Community Therapy Center. UNE students will earn course credit for their work.

The Biddeford School Department will provide space at John F. Kennedy Memorial School for the camp, which will run concurrently with the city recreation department’s Safari Camp. Children from both camps will be able to interact “in a safe, fun and inclusive setting,” according to city officials. The city also will provide transportation for field trips.

The Sanford Elks will provide the majority of the funding for the camp through its Autism Fundraising Committee. Donations earmarked for the camp and made to the Autism Society of Maine will be used for supplies, field trips and up to three paid camp employee positions.

Mayor Alan Casavant, who announced the creation of the camp, praised Quattrone, who has a child with autism spectrum disorder, for his “diligence and persistence in putting all the pieces together.”

“What he did is remarkable,” Casavant said.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.