Sylvia van Meerten earned her BA in Liberal Arts from the Evergreen State College in Olympia WA, and her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from The Union Institute in Vermont. She specializes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and has dedicated her professional career to creating opportunities for people on the spectrum. A resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Sylvia has recently co-founded a non-profit called Chasing Summer with Scott Arizala. Together they help typical summer camps and recreation programs include more children on the autism spectrum.
In addition to her work with Chasing Summer, Sylvia has constructed and implemented successful overnight camp programs for young people with ASD at Dragonfly Forest, Camp Tall Tree and Frost Valley YMCA. She is committed to sharing information and routinely delivers workshops to teachers, nurses and youth development professionals about practical strategies for including people with ASD in typical programming. An avid sports fan, Sylvia spends her limited free time watching and playing basketball, football, and martial arts. She has two kids and a very patient husband. Sylvia believes that summer camp has profoundly influenced both her work ethic and sense of humor for the better.