FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Booking a trip and exploring new places is an exciting time for many.
But for people with autism traveling can bring challenges and few options.
One camp is changing the lives of people on the spectrum and opening their eyes to new adventures!
"I think one was Hawaii I remember."
Heyden Fenney has not always had the travel bug. Autism used to keep him stuck at home. But a program called frontier travel camp gave him his independence.
"We are a travel program for late teens and adults with people on the spectrum on the autism spectrum."
Scott Fineman created the camp because he loves seeing the world and felt everyone should have the opportunity.
"We've been to probably 30 countries between Europe and North America."
The camp which has been operating for 21 years- takes travelers from age 16 to adults in their 40's and 50's.
"We have a group between 25 and 30 people. Our staff ratio is 5 to 1."
Nurses, social workers, and speech pathologists are among the professional staff who keep encouraging their 'campers' to take on new adventures.
"National parks, hiking through Yosemite, Yellowstone, really getting them to be active."
Heyden wasn't always adventurous.
"Terrified of rain, terrified of big trees, buildings."
But Heyden's first trip at 18 changed everything!
"I cried when he left and he cried when he came home."(:03)
Heyden says the best thing about traveling is the new friends he makes.
"So I could eat with them and have a chat with them, it makes me happy."
His next port of call? A Caribbean cruise in January.
The average cost per week for these trips is $3,000. Heyden helps pay for his trips by selling artwork.
For more information on upcoming trips please visit their website here.
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