Camps for Kids with Special Needs
If you are looking for a place where your child who has special needs can feel like they fit in, make friends, build confidence and gain independence, you may want to consider a special needs summer program. For children with special needs, camp can often be a welcome change of environments that can be life changing! Here are just a few of the amazing special needs summer camp programs.
Endeavor Program @Crestwood Country Day Camp
Endeavor is a program offered at Crestwood Country Day Camp, a traditional day camp located on Long Island, designed for children grades 2- 8 that fosters social and emotional growth. Children who attend the program may have a diagnosis or no diagnosis but many don’t thrive in the traditional camp environment and exhibit the need for support socially. Endeavor will allow campers to feel connected to others and feel a sense of belonging in the camp community.
New Country Day Camp @ 14th Street Y
New Country Day Camp, one of the 14th Street Y’s summer camps, offers an inclusion program for children entering Kindergarten through 8th grade. The camp is located at the Henry Kaufman campgrounds on Staten Island and welcomes children with high-functioning cognitive, intellectual or developmental differences such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities and sensory & language delays. Campers are fully integrated into the camper program and the camp works to create an ICP, individual camper plans, for each child.
Camp Akeela is a coed overnight camp in Vermont that supports the social growth of their campers and where“quirky campers thrive.” Akeela serves children grades 3-10. While some campers have ADD/ADHD, Asperger’s or an Autism Spectrum Disorder, other campers don’t have a formal diagnosis. All campers share that they are looking to be part of a caring community where they can meet friends that understand them. Campers who attend Akeela enjoy peer interaction but can struggle to make meaningful social connections. At camp, children will practice social skills and gain a feeling of belonging while participating in an array of camp activities.
Camp Ramapo, located in Rhinebeck, NY, is a coed overnight camp for children ages 6-16 with social, emotional or learning challenges, including children on the autism spectrum. The structured program fosters independence, teamwork, positive social skills, increased self-esteem and a sense of community. One of the goals of camp is for children to leave slightly more independent from when they arrived. Campers enjoy traditional camp activities and also work on everyday skills such as making their beds, working in the garden, making a salad and setting a table.
Summit Camp is a coed overnight camp in Pennsylvania for children ages 8-19 with a variety of developmental, social, emotional and learning issues. Campers have diagnoses that can include Asperger’s, ADD/ADHD, verbal and non-verbal learning disabilities, HFA, speech and language issues and sensory integration issues. Some children may also have gaps in executive function, Tourette’s syndrome or Bi-Polar disorder. All campers have difficulty in peer friendships and can lack social skills to maintain these relationships. The camp provides opportunities to develop and maintain social skills with the goals of building self confidence and making lasting friendships, all while participating in fun summer camp activities.
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