Summer is approaching quickly, and Atlanta-area parents have lots of options for summer activities for their children. Sports and theater day camps, vacation Bible schools, and sleepaway camps are among the many options available for keeping kids busy during the summer break.
But what about children with special needs? Many parents may be hesistant to send their child with special needs to camp, but here are four reasons to reconsider:
1. Special needs camps provide opportunities to develop new friendships. All children’s camps should encourage friendship, but camps developed with special needs in mind provide children an opportunity to mingle in a social setting with kids who have similar needs. The common experience of understanding what it’s like to be “different” can encourage positive, lasting bonds.
2. Special needs camps are a place with guaranteed inclusion. Though it’s not usually intentional, many children with special needs are left out or partially excluded from birthday parties or other events because they are unable to fully participate due to their needs. Camps which are geared toward children with special needs are more aware of and provide the accommodations necessary for every child to be included.
3. Special needs camps provide a supportive change of pace from typical one-on-one adult/child therapy sessions. Therapist/patient relationships are important, but so are peer-to-peer relationships. The ideal camp supports both. Day camps also provide needed structure that may be lost during the summer months when school is out.
4. Parents get a break while kids are at camp. We know you love your kids more than anything and love having them around, but we also know that parenting is a tough job! An hour or two to hit the mall, grab a pedicure, or just sit quietly with a book are great ways to recharge your parent batteries. Knowing your child is having fun and being cared for by people who understand his needs gives you a chance to relax, too.
Whether you’d like to test the waters with your child as a first-timer or you’re an experienced camper, Kid’s Creek Therapy offers camp and club options for kids. For more information, contact us by phone (770-888-5221) or email (email@example.com) or stop by the front desk to register or for more information.
Melanie McGriff, M.Ed., clinic director and speech therapist