If you have an autistic child, it may be hard to find fun things for them to do during the summer because of their specific needs. If you want to be sure that your child is able to have as much fun as possible during their next summer, consider sending them to summer camp. Many summer camps are now making accommodations to meet the special needs of autistic children. The following guide provides you with a few things to look for when choosing a summer camp for your autistic child.
Choose a Camp that Is Nearby
Take the time to find a summer camp that is located near your home. You will want to be able to take your child to the camp in the mornings and pick him or her up in the afternoon. Spending the night at a camp may be too much of a change for your child to be able to handle. Explain the situation to the summer camp director and he or she may be okay with your child being a day camper rather than a full time camper.
Choose a Camp that Offers Individual Aids
When you send your child to summer camp, you want to be sure that he or she has one-on-one care from an aid at the camp. You do not want your child to ever be left alone because they may wander and become lost. Discuss with the director the specific needs of your child. Let the director know how important it is to keep an aid with your child at all times for your child's safety.
Choose a Camp that Has Specialized Training
Autistic children handle stressful situations in different ways. The staff at the camp needs to know how to handle the many ways that your child could handle a stressful situation so that your child can be kept safe while in their care. Ask the director if the staff has been trained on the specific needs of autistic children before sending your child to the camp.
Choose a Camp that Offers Specialized Socialization
While at the camp, be sure that your child will be able to socialize with other children in a controlled environment. An aid should stay with your child at all times. You want to be sure that your child is not picked on or bullied by children who do not understand or know what autism is. Be sure to express your concerns with the director of the camp right away to ensure that he or she knows that you are okay with your child being around children who are not autistic, in a safe and controlled manner. An aid will be able to stop bullying right away if someone does say something rude or hurtful to your child.
When your child goes to the summer camp for kids, they will be exposed to new and interesting things. If you are not comfortable with your child going to the camp without you, the camp may allow you to be there throughout the day, as well. This will allow your child to have fun at the camp and give you the peace of mind that they are as safe as possible at all times.