Spiderman opens annual camping trip for children with autism

To the amazement of 35 children Spiderman opened this year’s annual CAOTfest, a Somerset County Council organised camping trip for children with autism and their families.

The fun filled four day camping trip (1-4 August), arranged by the Children’s Autism Outreach Team (CAOT), is a chance for children with autism and their families to have a fun and safe holiday together.

Watch a short film clip from CAOTfest 2017, including Spiderman’s grand opening:

During the week the children enjoy lots of activities including willow making, pottery, arts and crafts, forest school activities, circus skills, live music, a talent contest and much more. All the activities are designed to suit the children’s needs and offer them a stimulating and fun holiday.

The CAOT team works with parents and carers and their children aged 0-13 with a diagnosis of autism. The team helps families understand autism, assists with strategies to manage behaviour, supports the families and their children, and organises social activities.

Barbara Mills, Senior Autism Outreach Worker, said: “We try to think of lots of exciting and different activities for the children to enjoy during the camping trip. The children love CAOTfest and enjoy socialising with other children with autism and it is great for the parents and carers too – they can relax in the knowledge that their children’s needs are understood and supported and they get to meet other parents and talk about autism.”

Kev Cook, a parent on the trip for the first time, said: “It is really good because they get to meet other similar kids. It’s nice as parents to be able to sit back and watch them run off and be entertained.”

Irina Swift, parent on the trip, said: “It is a chance to have a holiday with likeminded people, with support and all the activities organised. It’s like one big family. We all help one another, we all know each other. The links and the friendships we make here will last throughout the year.”

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, said: “Families really value the support of the CAOT team and this event is hugely important to them. The children have fun in a supportive environment with activities designed to meet their needs and parents can relax knowing that trained staff are available 24/7.”