Summer Camp

Sending a child with autism to camp

What should we do? Some of my fondest memories as a child were at summer camp. Now our little Zachary is seven and that is a natural time for a child to start going to summer camp. Very nerve wracking experience for a parent facing the choice whether their child with autism is ready to go to camp or not?!

I always thought that I would be able to work at the camp when my children attended summer camp. But sadly summer vacation is very difficult to come by these days.

You want your child with autism to have all of the wonderful experiences you had as a child. Do you encourage them to do things like attend summer camp even if you know it will be challenging for them? Do you shelter them for one more year so they have another year of maturity?

Zach is pretty high functioning but sometimes he needs a little support with the fronts and backs of his clothes and buttons. He also gets very distracted during meal time so will he eat enough? What also terrifies me is that Zach would be a child that could become dehydrated if he doesn't have the right fluids to drink. Zach is really funny about his "red juice". He has been close to becoming dehydrated several times in the past.

So I think that we will send him. Thankfully one of the girls from our church will be on staff at the camp. I think that I might send some juice boxes or some juice along with Zach so they can keep it for him in the kitchen. I'm so excited for him. I just wish that we would have a buddy with him. Thankfully he is a pretty likable guy and should make some connections with the other boys. At least I hope he will. I hope that camp is what it was like when I was growing that didn't have friend's made connections at camp.