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Selecting a Summer Camp for Your Special Needs Child
Why the right one matters ...
By Nicole Bovell Posted in Special Education 0 Comments 2 min read
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Selecting a summer camp for your special needs can be quite overwhelming. From the different types of camps to the prices to whether your child will get the right the experience, you want to take the time to select the right camp.

With summer right around the corner, now is the time to start searching. Since some camps have already started enrolling and will soon be filled to capacity, waiting to the last minute is not an option.

To guide you in the right direction, here are a few questions that you should ask when selecting a summer camp…

Questions To Ask When Selecting a Summer Camp

  • What do want your child to get from a camp experience?
  • Is your child ready for a day camp or a sleepaway camp?
  • How does staff address behavioral problems?
  • How does camp staff respond to a child’s fear of or resistance to a new or intense activity (for example: swimming, horseback riding, boating)?
  • What are the staff members’ qualifications and how are they supervised?
  • What is a typical day like? What are the activities? Do campers choose their activities?
  • Is one-to-one assistance or instruction provided for some activities?
  • What is the range of abilities and disabilities of the campers?
  • Would you like your child to be included with campers without disabilities for all or part of the day?
  • How does the program meet individual campers’ needs?
  • How will your child get to camp? Is transportation provided?
  • What type of access do parents or caregivers have once their child is at camp? Is there a visitors’ day? Can a visit be arranged on non-visitors’ days? Are phone calls, computers, cell phones or email access allowed?
  • How does the camp share campers’ progress with parents, caregivers and/or schools after the camp season?
  • What is the procedure for medication administration? Medical emergencies?

Now what?

Keep in mind that finding a summer camp that matches your child’s interests AND is experienced with your child’s disability is the most important. Other items should become secondary. Also, seek out discounts and deals as well as non-profits and community colleges camp options.

Since there are an abundance of summer camp options out there and a lot of details to get through, start early!

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