Kids with autism are learning to be more independent thanks to a local non-profit organization.

More than 100 kids were given the chance to explore Edmonton amenities like malls and grocery stores and attend fun festivals such as K-Days and Taste of Edmonton over seven weeks of summer camps.

Children's Autism Services of Edmonton camp

On Tuesday, Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton helped six teenagers travel by bus and pick up items they need to cook a meal. They then prepared and cooked pizza and s’mores—a first for many of the kids.

Program Coordinator Melissa Malasheski says a day like this is an important step in gaining confidence to thrive in every day life.

“We’re working on increasing their independence. Things like taking the bus, waiting in line and paying for things.”

One in 66 children are diagnosed with Autism, which is usually evident by three years of age. Autism is a developmental disorder affecting the brain causing deficits in social and communication skills.

Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton helps families by providing professional family-centred treatment to ensure children meet and exceed their goals.