Summer Camp


Even for health professionals and medical institutions, there’s a limit to what they can do or provide for the benefit of most autistic children. Although an expert’s capabilities are enhanced in many ways especially with the aid of technological breakthroughs and research discoveries, there will be times when the employed treatment or therapy sessions can feel uninteresting and ineffective for your autistic child. If you’re a parent to an autistic child, you should know by now that it isn’t forever that you can keep your child occupied by the same activities while their needs and wants change as they grow.  Even your most treasured quality time with your kid won’t be that fun and productive anymore if you run out of creative ideas or if your child looks for new avenues to meet their own needs. When this happens, the safest path for you and your child to take would be to look at other non-medical approaches, like support programs or training services, that are available in your region or locality.

One of the most effective and highly enjoyable new programs that you can introduce to your autistic child is summer camp. It is a fun-filled activity that will widen your child’s view of the world they are living in. Most summer camp schedules are designed to expose kids into different encounters, such as groups of people, sets of sports activities, and a variety of flora and fauna thus enriching your child’s knowledge about their surroundings while also improving many aspects of their development. If you are still not sold on the benefits of summer camp for your autistic child, the following enumeration of good points may help you decide on registering your kid to a summer camp program nearest to you.

A New Avenue to Improve Social Skills

All summer camps are designed with the main goal of meeting together groups of children and teens coming from different families and immersed in diverse types of environment. Inside the summer camp, certain competitive activities would require them to work in groups and perform tasks together, leading to team celebrations and appreciation if they win, or consolation and acceptance if they lose. Almost the same setting can be found in summer camps for children with special needs, where they encounter other kids their age who are also diagnosed with disorders or disabilities. Exposing your autistic kid to this type of environment will help them realize that they are not alone, and there are many others who are facing the same type of adversity. The summer camp will provide your kid with the perfect environment to learn more about people with special needs, and make it easier for them to develop bonds with those who have the same disability or disorder as them. Although it may look identical to a school setting, the big difference is that in a summer camp, the kids are encouraged to be more interactive with the help of games and activities that are supervised by trained summer camp staff. It is a commonplace for socially withdrawn kids to finally start coming out of their shell or comfort zone as they build connections with the people around them.

Facilitate Physical Fitness Activities

It is the usual case for autistic kids with autism to be excused from sports exercises and other strenuous activities while they are in school,  mixed together with neurotypical students. For this reason, autistic kids might be deprived of the necessary physical training that would have helped improve their movement coordination, balance, and spatial awareness. Through summer camps, the same need is provided to autistic children as trainers and staff design specific activities that are specially tailored to their needs and capabilities. There are specific summer camp programs which train autistic children certain physical activities that they can continue doing at home, like riding a bike, mastering climbing bars or simply enduring a routine jogging session. Summer camps also introduce nature-themed activities such as leaf collecting, tree house climbing and racing in a large field of grass, all of which can help improve their physical well-being while also exposing them to a new environment which most kids from urban areas may not normally experience.

Boosts Confidence and Hones Potential

Many autistic kids have the possibility of being a savant, or an individual possessing higher than normal skills or intelligence in certain areas of expertise or learning. It is common to know of an autistic child exhibiting prodigious talents and skills but depending on the environment in which they are exposed to, such potential may remain untapped and hidden. If the school or parents do not provide the ideal setting where the autistic child can discover their talents and skills and hone them to the fullest potential, the child will go on to grow and mature being clueless or extremely unconfident with their own abilities. Through summer camp activities, children with special needs will be given the chance to show their strengths in a set of programs that are carefully planned by the staff, in cooperation with their parents. There they will be nurtured with encouragement, and then taught about the uniqueness of every individual even a child with special needs. There will be no pressure imposed on the children, rather they will be given the kind of attention that will help showcase their skills and talents. The best part about this is not only will the children learn more about their own abilities, parents too can see their children become the stars of the show, helping boost their pride and appreciation for their kids.

Joining a summer camp is indeed an interesting option to choose for the sake of your autistic kid’s overall development and well-being. However, not all kids are very welcoming of this idea and the very nature of their personality may exhibit a very different response. If your kid shows great aversion to such activity, it is advised that you shouldn’t force them to join, but instead look for other options still available.