University Neuropsychiatric Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kidstar Summer Camp for Children with Autism? 

The Kidstar Summer Camp for Children with Autism, which we lovingly call UNIF, is based at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI). This camp is all about having fun so we changed the name to University Neuropsychiatric Institute of Fun. Our camp is designed to help children with high functioning Autism or Asperger's Syndrome learn and practice social skills in a safe and fun environment. Our camp follows a peer modeling structure which means that each child or adolescent is paired with a new typically developing "buddy" each week. We try to create activities in which the buddies work together in hopes that social knowledge and social skills are learned and practiced. These activities range from getting-to-know-you activities, arts and crafts, sports and interactive games. We traditionally take multiple field trips including: Sweet's Candy Factory, Kennecott Copper Mine, Clark Planetarium, and Nickelmania nickel arcade.

What is a peer mentor?

A peer mentor is a typically developing peer aged child who is willing and able to come and have fun while modeling appropriate social skills to the children with high functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.  Our peer mentors need to be able to navigate complex social situations and will be given training from our staff each Monday morning.  It’s a fun and exciting opportunity to learn more about Autism while having fun and making new friends. 

What is the cost to participate?

The cost for children with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome is $850 for all four weeks.  The cost for a peer mentor is $375 for all four weeks. 

What if my child can only participate for one week or every other week?

In order for our camp to be a success, we require at least a two week commitment – either the first two weeks or the last two weeks of the camp.  The model of our camp works best when children can participate for at least two consecutive weeks.  We won’t be able to accept participants for one week increments. 

Can my child with Autism participate in the 8-12 year old camp even though he/she is older than 12?

One of the purposes of our camp is to teach age appropriate social skills.  In order for that to be successful, we require that all or our participants are in the camp specific to their age.   

Will my health insurance pay for this summer camp?

Insurance does not pay for this summer camp. 

Can my child with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome be a peer mentor?

Our peer mentors are required to be able to navigate complex social situations and model appropriate social skills.  Children with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome aren’t able to provide the appropriate modeling that is required to make our camp a success so they are welcome to come and participate but not in the capacity of a peer mentor.

Are there scholarships available?

Typically we don’t have scholarships available.  If that ever changes, there will be information about it here on our website.