Transition to Summer for Special Needs Children
Previous Your Rights and Extended School Year (ESY)
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
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
Is your child ready for a day camp or a
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
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’
How will your child get to camp? Is
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?
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!