Summer Programs


Due to COVID-19, summer programs will vary depending on the agency and location. Please reach out to each individual program for information on their offerings as rules and regulations are rapidly changing.

The information and resources contained on this web page are for educational and informational purposes only and are not considered to be a full endorsement from the Autism Society of Iowa. 


ASI Offers Programming Grants.  The purpose of the grant is to encourage existing community recreation and leisure programs, to include individuals within the autism spectrum, by providing financial support to develop successful integration opportunities. 

For more information on Programming Grants available through ASI, click here. 

Grant applications will be accepted from January 1 until March 15. After review, grants will then be distributed on April 15.




2022 ASK RESOURCE CENTER SUMMER CAMP LIST – Check out this link for a more comprehensive list put together by ASK Resource Center, of summer activities for those with autism and other special needs.


All Aboard for Kids – Ames, IA

  • All Aboard for Kids offers unique summer day camp programs for all area elementary and middle school students, as well as for those on the autism spectrum entering K-8th grade!
  • Held at The Plex – Christ Community Church of Ames Activity & Community Center, these programs are fun, education-based, enrichment opportunities designed to help all kids to:
      • Prevent cognitive regression
      • Ease the transition to the next school year
      • Encourage social skills development with peers
      • Promote physical activity & practice gross motor skills
  • For more information, click here.


Art Spectrums – Des Moines Art Center – Des Moines, IA

  • Art Spectrums is a free program for children and teens on the autism spectrum. Art Spectrums provides an opportunity for participants to exercise their creativity and build their self-esteem through sensory experiences that aid in the development of cognition, communication, and motor skills.
  • Participants visit and discuss a work of art in the museum for inspiration and then make their own artwork in the studio.
  • For more information, click here or contact Kara Fedje, museum educator, via email: or call: 515-271-0349.


Courage League Sports – Des Moines Metro Locations

  • Click here for upcoming Courage League Clinics and Camps!
  • Courage League Sports is a non-profit adaptive sports and recreational facility that offers year-round programming for children and adults who aren’t able to go full speed due to a physical, cognitive or emotional disability. By adapting the pace, equipment, or nature of an activity, Courage League can provide a safe and accessible environment where participants can go at their own speed.
  • Melissa Clarke-Wharff, Founder/President  Phone: 515-423-9930
  • Porshia Perkins, Development Coordinator
  • Phone: 515-421-4020 or

Forest Avenue Library Calming Room – Des Moines, IA

Mondays and Wednesdays: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thursdays: 4:00 – 6:00 PM · 1326 Forest Avenue, Des Moines, IA

Do you need a calm place to play? Then come to the Forest Avenue Calming Room for a sensory interactive experience! This is an unsupervised, drop-in program for youth. Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.


Hawkeye Community College – Waterloo, IA

  • Click here for more information on dates, times, scholarship and registration information.


Metro West Kids Learning Center – Clive, IA (Des Moines, IA area)


Sensory Saturdays at East Side Library – Des Moines, IA

Third Saturday of the Month: 9:00 AM-10:00 AM
2559 Hubbell Avenue, Des Moines, IA

The East Side Library invites families and children with special needs to borrow materials and enjoy the library’s sensory stations. We will reduce the lighting and have areas set up to encourage activity or provide calming spaces. Our friendly staff will be on hand to answer questions and help you find materials that are perfect for your family!


Sturgis Youth Theatre Summer Production – University of Northern Iowa


Sports Leagues For Those With Disabilities  

      • The Miracle League – Kiwanis
        • Are you between 5 and 18 years old? Click here for info and registration!
        • Are you 19 and over? Plan to join one of the Miracle League adult teams! Click here for info and registration!
        • For more information call 515-280-5017 or
      • Challenger Sports League, Helping Kids with Special Needs Participate in Sports, (515) 276-0477 or
      • Special Olympics,
      • Link Associates (Soccer), Kids through age 18, any ability level, 515.262.8888


Camp High Hopes – Sioux City, IA

  • Due to COVID-19, 2020 Summer Camp programs have been canceled. Please visit the Camp High Hopes website for more information.
  • Camp High Hopes offers year-round therapeutic recreation programs and respites in Sioux City, IA designed to enrich the lives of youth and adults with diagnosed disabilities, chronic illnesses, and other special needs.
  • For more information call 712-224-2267 or click here!

Career Development Camp – Naperville, IL

  • Summer classes in independent living, social communication, and employability at Turning Pointe Autism Foundation. Classes will be a hybrid learning experience that combines virtual lessons and mock interviews with hands-on employability training from home. Click this link for more information and a one-page flyer with eligibility and cost details, copy of the program description, and student application form. Program is approved to provide instruction across state-lines.