FAQ

General Program Questions

Does my child need to have a referral or diagnosis to participate in your program?
While many of our students have diagnoses including Autism, ADHD, and social anxiety, a referral or diagnosis is NOT necessary for participation in our program. We determine if the program is a good fit for your child’s needs through the enrollment meeting process.

Who do you serve?
We serve children ages 8-18 in our Aspiring Youth Programs. Our groups, camps, and coaching services are a good fit for students needing extra support with social skills from initiating play to sustaining conversations to navigating the complex social dynamics of high school.For young adult services, see DelphiYoungAdults.com.

How do I enroll?
If you’re new to AY, contact us at (206) 517-0241 or info@aspiringyouth.net with any initial questions you may have and to schedule a free enrollment meeting for you and your child.
If the program is a good fit, parents will receive a registration email with instructions on how to create an account and enroll. Please do not register for an account before attending your enrollment meeting. If we have determined our program is not a good fit for your child at this time, you will be contacted by a Program Manager for a follow-up discussion and possible referrals. For returning students: parents can simply log-in to your existing account to sign up!

Where do enrollment meetings take place?
Enrollment meetings are scheduled at our main office in Seattle or in Kirkland and are attended by the parent/guardian and child.

How long are enrollment meetings?
Enrollment meetings are typically scheduled for 30 minutes.

Do I need to bring anything to my enrollment meeting?
All enrollment paperwork is completed online prior to the meeting, so all you need to bring is yourself and your child.

How much does the enrollment meeting cost?
Enrollment meetings are free to help us determine the best group fit for your child.

Who are your staff/what are their qualifications?
Our staff have diverse backgrounds in special education, speech and language pathology, social work, mental health therapy, and other related fields. All groups are supervised by masters-level professionals and all staff have experience working with neurodiverse students.

How is bullying handled at your organization?
Students need to feel safe in our groups and camps in order to take chances and learn new skills. Staff set expectations for behavior and work with students and parents to address any problems that may arise.

How is Aspiring Youth associated with Ryther?
AY is a program of Ryther, which is a community mental health center for children, youth, and families. Learn more about Ryther’s programs here.

Social Skills

When and where are the social skills groups offered?
Our groups take place after-school on weekdays and on the weekends and we have locations in Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue, and Bothell. For a complete schedule visit our social skills groups page.

How long do groups run?
Sessions are 75 minutes long and groups meet once per week for 10-week cycles (fall, winter, and spring).

How big is each social skills group?
Group size varies depending on the age, location, and activity but ranges from 4-15. We keep a 4:1 student to staff ratio, and larger groups are typically broken into smaller groups based on learning style and individual needs.

How much do groups cost?
Groups are $650 per quarter (10 weeks). Certain groups may run for shorter cycles due to holidays, and the fee will be prorated accordingly. Discounts may be available for multiple group enrollments. Contact the office for more information.

What is a discussion-based social skills group?
Explorers, Navigators, and Teen Crew groups center around an age-appropriate group discussion of a weekly theme. Facilitators get to know their students before selecting the topics that are most relevant for their group. The second half of group gives students an opportunity to practice skills through invivo games and activities.

What is an activity-based social skills group?
These groups teach social skills within the context of a particular activity. Rock-Climbing, Running, Bowling, Yoga, Dungeons and Dragons, and Tabletop Gaming all offer opportunities to engage students in a fun activity while working on sportsmanship, teamwork, body awareness, and perspective-taking.

Summer Camps

What kind of activities do the age-based camps participate in?
The age-based camps center around field trips into the community and adventures outdoors. Campers complete habitat restoration projects at Ravenna Park as well as other locations and receive a $15 stipend for their work. Throughout the week, campers travel to different parks and participate in free-choice activities which may include building and inventing projects, tabletop gaming, kickball games, art activities, and nature walks. Thursdays are rotating field trips to favorites such as the Museum of Flight, Woodland Park Zoo, Pump It Up, Pinball Museum, Living Computers Museum, MoPOP, and the Pacific Science Center, among others.

What kind of activities do the theme based camps participate in?
Theme-based camps start the day with activities related to the camp theme (Video Production, Theater, Building and Inventing, Art, Yoga). In the afternoon, campers go on field trips to local parks and participate in free-choice activities including scavenger hunts, games, and art projects. Thursdays include bigger field trips based on the interests of the group (beaches, museums, on-site locations for filming or theater, etc.).

What time does camp begin and end?
Camp runs 9:30am – 3:30pm, Monday – Thursday.

Is there before and/or after care available?
Yes, we offer before and after care at our Seattle (Ryther), Bellevue, and Redmond locations from 8am to 5:30pm. Before and after care is not available at any other location.

What is the camper to counselor ratio?
4:1

What is the minimum commitment to participate in summer camp?
We have a 2-week minimum for Explorers and 3-week minimum for Navigators and Teen Crew. Parents are encouraged to select consecutive weeks but it is not required.

Where are camps offered?
Currently, we offer age-based camps in NE Seattle, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Bellevue, and Redmond. Theme-based camps are offered in NE Seattle and Bellevue. Visit our summer camps page to see a full listing of dates/locations.

Coaching

What is the first step to setting up individual coaching?
Contact us to get initial information and answer our intake questions.

How long is each coaching session and how often would I meet with my coach?
Coaching sessions are typically 50 minutes long and may be weekly to monthly, depending on the need of the student.

What is covered during a coaching session?
Coaching sessions are tailored to meet the needs of the student and may cover a variety of topics and skills.

Payment/Registration

How much are your social skills groups?
Groups are $650 per quarter (10 weeks). Certain groups may run for shorter cycles due to holidays and the fee will be prorated accordingly. Discounts may be available for multiple group enrollments. Contact the office for more information.

How much are your summer camps?
All camps are $600 per week. Most themed camps are two-week session for a total of $1,200.

How much is before and after care for summer camp?
Parents have the option of signing up for either before care ($50 per week), after care ($50 per week), or both ($100 per week).

Are payment plans available?
We offer payment plan options for camp, which parents can select when registering online. Plan options may not be available after the registration deadline.

How much does individual coaching cost?
Coaching fees are $125 per hour and are not covered by insurance, DDA respite or IFS waiver funds.

Do you accept insurance?
No, our services are not considered medical treatment and are not reimbursable by health insurance.

Do you accept DDA funds?
Yes, we accept both DDA Respite and IFS waiver funds for groups and camps. Contact your case manager to ensure services are covered and you have sufficient funds. Parents are responsible for any fees not covered or reimbursed by DDA/IFS. We are contracted under our agency’s name – Ryther.

How do I apply DDA funds to program fees?
Create an account, complete the registration forms, and select your programs as you normally would. When you reach the cart, check the box that says “I will be using DSHS/DDA funds” and complete your case manager information. Please read the instructions listed carefully. You do not need to make any payment if you are using DDA and can just skip the checkout page entirely. Your account progress bar will remain blue and appear incomplete because there is a balance open, but you are registered. We invoice DDA after services are completed.

I’ve paid my deposit for summer camp. Why is the checkout page still incomplete?
Your application will remain incomplete as long as there is a balance open. If you’ve enrolled in a payment plan, your application will be marked complete once the final payment has been made. As long as you’ve made the deposit, you are considered registered.

Are scholarships available?
We have a scholarship application for summer camp that is available on our website. Scholarships are limited and need-based. Please see the current summer scholarship application for details.

Scholarships for groups are considered on a case-by-case basis due to fluctuations in funding availability and current group enrollment. You can find details on group scholarships here.

Are there any other organizations that provide scholarship money that can be applied towards AY programs?
Students with an Autism diagnosis may be eligible for Ben’s Fund through FEAT of Washington, which can be applied to camp and group fees. Please see http://www.featwa.org/grants/ for details.

I’ve applied for a Ben’s Fund grant but don’t know when I’ll hear back. Can we get a refund if we pay first and receive the grant after the group/camp has started?
No, in order to apply a Ben’s Fund grant to services we must receive at least the confirmation letter prior to the start date of the group/camp. If you receive the grant after you have already paid, you may apply the grant to future services. We cannot provide a refund or credit.

What is your refund policy for social skills groups and camps?
Groups refund policy
Summer camps refund policy

Employment/Volunteering

Does AY take volunteers?
Aspiring Youth accepts volunteers pursuing higher education in related fields who are looking for more experience working with neurodiverse children.

Do volunteers undergo any training?
Volunteers work closely with group facilitators and don’t lead groups themselves.

I am interested in working at AY. How can I apply?
Job openings are posted on both our employment page and Ryther’s employment page. If we do not have a current opening, you are welcome to send in a cover letter and resume to info@aspiringyouth.net and we will keep it on file.