A few months ago I began the herculean task of figuring out our family's summer camp situation. Our kids range in age from 9 ½ to 4, they have different interests, and our oldest daughter Penny has Down syndrome. For Penny, camp poses particular challenges. In the past, she has run away from the group at a day camp. Counselors have underestimated her abilities. She's had trouble making new friends. As her mom, I need to ensure that she's safe while also equipping the counselors to help her integrate into a new social setting and routine.Over the past few summers, I've learned a few things about sending a kid with special needs to day camp among typically developing kids:
For kids, summers should be fun and relaxed, filled with family time and leisure. Camps can be a part of that fun, and parents can help make them more fun for children with special needs when we prepare well and provide resources along the way. Happy Summer!
Amy Julia is the mom of three kids who love broccoli and hot dogs, and who ask for lollipops every day! Her guilty pleasures are Chardonnay and Diet Coke. She is also the author of Small Talk: Learning from my Children about What Matters Most and A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny. Visit her at amyjuliabecker.com.