Summer day camps are local camps that provide summer recreation for children while not requiring overnight stays. There are a range of summer day camps available for children with disabilities in many different areas. Day camps for children with disabilities can provide services for a variety of disabilities, such as autism, learning or physical disabilities.
Types of Camps
Summer day camps for disabilities often cover a specific type of disability. For example, a day camp might have facilities for children with autism or similar disorders, or it might have facilities for children who have had limbs amputated. The specific types of disabilities will often dictate the type of camp. Physical disabilities require physical assistance, but usually do not interfere with mental processes. Children with mental disabilities, on the other hand, might have a healthy body but have something with the mind that makes them different or special. For example, those with physical disabilities might need facilities with ramps instead of stairs and might need help with physical tasks. Camps assisting with children with mental disabilities need counsellors or workers who are able to handle the associated frustrations from the disabilities. When looking for a day camp for a child with a disability, it essential to find out what types of disabilities the camp is designed for.
Activities vary by camp and the type of disabilities, but most day summer camps for children with disabilities will have similar activities to any summer camp. Children work on arts and crafts projects, play outside, go swimming and enjoy the summer weather. Activities include options to help campers gain confidence in their abilities, despite any disabilities they have. For example, camps for amputee kids can have a wide range of sports activities like volleyball and basketball as well as activities like wall climbing and horseback riding. Depending on the location, the camps might have field trips or nature activities like hiking or studying plants.
Counselling or Education
Many of the summer camps for children with disabilities have counselling or therapy programs in the camp. The counsellors work with the children to help them learn important skills for their disability. For example, a camp for autism would require teaching the kids social skills, independent living skills or the development of goals. Therapy methods vary and might include music therapy, speech therapy, social skills training or even occupational skills training depending on the camp and the age group the camp works with.
Finding a Camp
There are day camps for summer around the country designed for children with disabilities. Beyond looking at local event notices, information is often available at websites like My Summer Camps or Amputee Coalition. These websites provide information about camps related to specific disabilities, allowing parents to find the most appropriate summer camp for their children.