Summer camp: Finding the right fit for your child with special needs

Registering for summer camp is stressful, especially for those parents who seek additional accommodations for their child with special needs.

Syona-summer-camp

Syona has finally adjusted to kindergarten and is really enjoying her time at school. She comes home and tells us what she’s learned and what her friends had for lunch.

We recently had a meeting with her teachers where we discussed Syona’s progress. I mentioned how her communication skills have increased, as have her attempts to initiate conversations—especially with adults. She’s not quite as confident talking directly to other kids yet, but we’re optimistic she will get there with time and practice. A few teachers suggested that a day camp—with kids of all abilities—might be an ideal way for Syona to spend her summer break.

Prior to now, we’ve never really looked at summer camps. She wasn’t in school, she tended to have lots of appointments throughout the week and we were fortunate to have Dilip’s parents help us out so we could continue to work through the summer months. However, this year feels different. Syona’s getting older and she’s enjoying being surrounded by other kids. She’s more confident and vocal, and is getting much better at regulating herself. And as an only child, her exposure to other kids helps her learn that the world doesn’t totally revolve around her.

So I started the confusing process of looking into programs for the summer. While finding summer programming for any kid can be tough, we need to factor in a couple of additional details—mainly the requirement of a support worker at camp and finding a place that will be inclusive. We discovered a great facility that would require a bit of a daily commute—our local camps don’t offer many options that would be convenient for Syona and the cost is an additional $400/week. So we’re leaning towards the first option, despite the longer drive.

I still need to factor in her therapy appointments, while giving her a chance to enjoy her summer. Since this is our first foray into the world of summer camps, I’m still a little confused and overwhelmed. Those deadlines for camp registration are coming up fast and furious!

So I’m turning to all of you. What’s your advice? What do you do with your kids during the summer?

Follow along as Anchel Krishna shares her experiences as mother to Syona, an extraordinary toddler with cerebral palsy. Read all of Anchel’s Special-needs parenting posts and follow her on Twitter @AnchelK.

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Why I blog about my child with special needs>

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