We're Evidence Based!

First Outcome Study of Camp Pegasus Provides Early Evidence that the Program is Effective *

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We get results!

  • The longer a camper participates in the program, the more likely clinically significant improvement will be seen (Counselors, Parents, and Independent raters all observed).

  • A meaningful decrease in “unexpected behaviors” occurred by the end of the 8 week program.

  • Campers who were rated as demonstrating greater social deficits at the beginning of camp made the most dramatic progress after the conclusion of the 8 weeks.

  • Parents’ ratings demonstrating improvement on the home front suggests that social skills learned and practiced at camp generalized to the home setting.

“The results of the study showed that campers experienced a significant cumulative increase in expected behaviors from the start to the end of the summer, and a significant reduction of unexpected behaviors during the second half of camp. …The current study evidences that children with HFASD [High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder] experienced significant improvements in their prosocial behaviors, maladaptive social behaviors, and autism consistent behaviors after partaking in [this] summer camp for children with social needs.”  (from the abstract)

How was this discovered?

A Widener University psychology doctoral candidate, Rebecca Brodoff, conducted an outcome study of Camp Pegasus participants in 2015. Rebecca Brodoff, PhD’s dissertation is entitled, “Examining the Effectiveness of a Summer Camp for Improving the Social Skills and Self-Regulation Behaviors in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder”.

Brodoff studied “expected behaviors” (defined by Michelle Garcia-Winner as pro-social behaviors and skills) and “unexpected behaviors” (defined as maladaptive or undesired social behaviors). The hypothesis was that campers would demonstrate less “unexpected behaviors” and more “expected behaviors” at the end of the summer program, as rated by counselors and parents.

The study rated “expected” and “unexpected” behaviors in 11 campers diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder who attended the program for all 8 weeks. Behaviors were rated in three intervals: prior to the start of camp, at the midpoint of the program (after 4 weeks), and at the conclusion of camp (after 8 weeks).

Brodoff used the same behavior rating scale used by Michele Garcia-Winner, the SRS-2 in addition to Direct Behavior Observation.

The study used three different types of raters to get a broad perspective of campers’ behavior, parent ratings, counselor ratings, and direct behavior observation ratings by the researcher and a second rater. Brodoff stated the need to repeat this study using similar and different data collection methods and measures to strengthen reliability and validity.

Dissertation Citation

Brodoff, R. (2017) Examining the Effectiveness of a Summer Camp for Improving the Social Skills and Self-Regulation Behaviors in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest. (Accession No. 10286756)

*additional studies are required to strengthen the statement that Camp Pegasus is evidence-based.