Summer Camp Summer Fun
While deciding on a camp, decide what skills a child will hopefully (and helpfully) learn from a summer experience. Is the goal for the child to learn social skills, reading skills, or some sort of physical skill (e.g. playing baseball, riding a bike, etc…)? A critical skill that children should learn is swimming. For children on the autism spectrum one of the leading causes of death after seizures is accidents. One of the most frequent accidents is drowning. The American Red Cross offers swimming lessons at local community pools that cater to a wide range of ability levels. Some courses are specifically geared toward individuals with disabilities known as adapted aquatics or adapted swimming lessons. Check with your local Red Cross Chapter for a swimming program near you.
A special need camp may mainstream children with and without special needs, target a specific special need or tailor to many special needs. Make the selection process and decision a family event where your child is a full-fledged participant. Both you and your child should feel secure and excited about summer camp. Remember that your child will pick up on your attitude or fears, so make sure you give off a positive message.
If you are considering a camp, it is advised to find out the rating it received from the American Camp Association (ACA). Local branches of organizations focusing on disabilities like Easter Seals or the Autism Society may be able to offer information about camps that will be close to home. Remember, your child has the potential to have an incredible experience at summer camp. With summer around the corner, now is the prime time to start planning camp. The experience will create memories that will last a lifetime.