Summer is here, and finding the camp for your child can be a daunting task. There are a plethora of options when it comes to summer camps, but how do parents choose what works for their child?
To ensure that your camps are up-to-date with the latest research and information to support your child, it is important that they receive training and certification. Be sure to ask for and check for their credentials. If your child has special needs such as autism, many organizations such as YMCA and even Beaches Resorts Kid’s Camps have received staff-wide training and are designated as Certified Autism Centers through IBCCES. See below for some important considerations when looking for the perfect camp for your little ones this summer.
Objective: An important point to consider are the experiences your child to get to enjoy and learn from while attending camp.
- Will your child learn to increase his or her social skills?
- Does the camp have a therapeutic approach such as therapeutic curriculum, e.g.,( Equestrian or Pet therapy)?
- What about academic?
- What will the camp do for your child and how do these objectives help with the overall support of the child?
- If your child will be attending a camp which is inclusion-based, what are the protocols for when a child has a maladaptive behavior?
- Are there policies and procedures in place for such things?
- Will specialty service such as Occupational and Speech Therapist be able to come to camp to render services?
Structure: The structure of the camp is critical when considering camp.
- What type of activities will the child be engaged in while at camp?
- Are camp activities sensory-based?
- How will the camp incorporate social play?
- Will there be times dedicated to alone time in quiet areas?
- If so is the child allowed to bring his or her items such as an ipad or tablet, and will this be incorporated into the schedule?
Logistics: Along with structure, another question to consider is location.
- How far is the camp from the nearest relative in case of emergency?
- Does the camp have transportation?
- Will there be field trips involved?
- Will a parent have to pay the full rate for a kid who only goes half days or are there discounts and financial benefits in place for this?
- Does the camp have a nurse on hand or are staff trained to take care of things such as seizures?
- Is the camp equipped to handle your child diet restrictions?
Note: IBCCES certifies Kid’s Camp based on this criteria, along with training counselors and staff members. For more information, contact [email protected].