Dealing With Emotions
Some children may not be very excited to attend camp. They may be concerned about being away from the parents or friends for a long period of time. They may also be concerned about spending so much time with strangers. To ease a child's concerns and fears, discuss the positives of the camp, such as any fun activities your child might enjoy doing. If it is a camp for kids with disabilities or special needs similar to those of your child, let your child know he or she will get to meet children with similar needs as their own. Another thing to remember is that kids can be cruel to each other. There may be some teasing involved. With disabilities involved, it may compound that issue. Do some research and be sure your child is prepared to possibly deal with this. Even children who are overly excited will still need to be prepared for attending a camp. It is a big adjustment to be away from family and home life. Focus on the positive aspects of the camp to emotionally prepare your child for this rewarding experience.
What To Tell the Camp
The camp will need to know a variety of things about your child. As the parent, it is your job to be sure you inform the camp of any special needs or accommodations your child might have. One of the most important necessities a child attending camp will need to have is an emergency contact list. For kids with disabilities, this list may be even more important. Ideally, an emergency contact list should include how to the mother and father of the child, backup emergency contacts in case the parents are not available, as well as phone numbers for doctors, caregivers, and any other pertinent contacts. Kids with disabilities may have extra contacts on this list, such as caregivers and specialists. The camp should be alerted of all allergies, medical conditions, disabilities, special needs accommodations, or other pertinent information pertaining to the child's safety and well-being.
Some camps provide transportation. However, not all of them do. Even if the camp you have chosen provides transportation, it may not always be accommodating for kids with disabilities. Check with the camp your child is attending to see if they provide transportation and if so, what the mode of transportation will be. Ask questions about the accommodations and do not be afraid to be specific. If the camp does not provide the type of transportation your child will need, look into alternative modes of transportation. If you cannot bring the child to the camp yourself, see if a family member, friend, or relative is willing and has the appropriate accommodations to do so. Be sure that whichever mode of transportation is selected is available for the return trip as well.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network