Opportunities for Students with Special Needs and Disabilities
Summer Camp is a place where children spend their days being physically active. They gain confidence in themselves and develop skills that will serve them their entire lives. Camp is a place that children spend their days outside running and playing. They will make true friends that will follow them for the rest of their lives. All these great things make camp a seminal influence on the lives of young people. Special needs children have no reason to feel limited in their ability to enjoy and attend camp. There are hundreds of specially formatted camps designed to fit the considerations of special needs children regardless of limitations.
Choosing the proper camp for a special needs child has become considerably easier due to the vast number of programs being offered. The number of camps choosing to develop programs that accommodate the requirements of assisting special needs youth has grown exponentially. Autism, hearing and vision impairment, or Down Syndrome no longer limit children from experiencing the joys of overnight and summer day camps. Enlisting the help of your child, you can quickly narrow down the list of appropriate camps by considering hobbies and personal interest. The best way to ensure that a summer camp can accommodate the needs of any special needs child is to call the director of the camp and open an honest and candid dialog. Parents should give camp directors as much information about a child and their challenges prior to the start of camp as possible. The child will be positioned for a positive and rewarding summer when the camp is equipped with all the needed information.
Special Needs Sports Summer Camp
Sports camps for the visually impaired are finding prominence in many communities. There are camps that host children as young as 5, and they help build their confidence while teaching sports and athletic skills in a specialty sports Visual Impairment Program. Visually impaired children learn to tackle their disability in new ways and grow in confidence. The environments at these camps are safer and staffed with knowledgeable counselors skilled in specifically beneficial backgrounds like adapted physical movement. Parents should still feel free to ask the camp director for information about their camp’s safety record and precautions that have been taken to ensure the safety of your child. Children suffering from hearing challenges will find that there are many choices for them as well. Many camps cater to hard of hearing children and teens by offering ASL classes along with traditional athletic and sports camp activities. It may seem counterintuitive that children with hearing and sight challenges can excel at sports in a camp environment, but that is wholly untrue.
Special Needs Traditional Overnight Camps
Some young people with challenges may be ready to move straight into a traditional overnight summer camp setting. These camps span in length from one to eight weeks. The traditional camp setting will assist special needs children by allowing them the opportunity to conquer separation anxiety while gaining confidence in their problem-solving skills. There are camps that will teach specific skills to children during the course of the summer. They use engaging extracurricular and solo activities to work on personal development. Traditional camps that cater to children with special needs also teach life skills. It’s not all work at these camps; kids will also have the opportunity to become more skilled at a hobby and enjoy free time.
Special Needs Day Camps
Many special needs children spend a lot of their time indoors. Camp will offer them the chance to get out of the house to enjoy the fresh air. Even if a child hasn’t worked up to the overnight stay away from home, day camp is a great alternative. Being in an environment with children who have similar challenges can be a step towards gaining important social skills. Day camp programs do not have the luxury of time that overnight camps boast, but within the allocated time each day they have to work on predetermined goals and challenges they can achieve a lot. Campers will return home at the end of the day, and start the day after ready to go do it all over again. The day camp option is a great place to start for a child that is unaccustomed to being away from parents and guardians for such a long time.
There are many great programs for children with challenges. While a child may seem like they aren’t ready for camp, there are camps across the United States offering unique and exciting opportunities for children with challenges.