“Special needs” is a phrase that is often used to describe any child who is physically, mentally, emotionally or behaviorally different from his or her peers. It can refer to a wide variety of conditions, illnesses or difficulties, and is often simply used to imply that a child requires some sort of special accommodations. Children with special needs often feel that they are outcasts, or that they somehow miss out on the things that their peers get to do because of their special situations. However, with the proper resources, it doesn’t have to be this way; parents can find summer camps for special needs children, and help their kids to thrive in an environment where they can be themselves.
When many people think of summer camps for special needs children, the first thing they think of is physical disabilities. Children who have limited mobility – for example, those who are in wheelchairs, or on crutches – cannot participate in common summer camp activities such as hiking and swimming, for obvious reasons. Therefore, some of the most popular summer camps for special needs children are those that provide special accommodations for children with physical disabilities, such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and hearing or sight impairments.
However, summer camps for special needs children are not limited to providing special accommodations for only physically-impaired children. We list a variety of summer camps for special needs children, which cater to kids with any of a number of behavioral, mental, emotional and physical challenges. Attention deficit disorder, Down’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, speech and communication impairments and substance abuse are just a few of the conditions listed on our website, and there are summer camps dedicated to all of these and more. From issues as common as asthma, to more serious illnesses like cancer, severe burns or brain injury, parents of kids with special needs can find a summer camp where their kids will be entertained and engaged, and where they can feel like they can really fit in and participate.
One of the biggest issues for parents of kids with special needs is that, if they send their kids away to camp, they are often concerned that they won’t be cared for properly. Counselors and staff who are not specially trained, and who don’t have experience caring for children with special needs, may not be able to fulfill the needs of children with serious illnesses or disabilities. At best, they may not know what to do; at worst, they may discriminate against them (knowingly or otherwise), or make them feel excluded in some way. Other kids may also make fun of a child with special needs, or exclude him or her from activities, because he or she is different and, therefore, often unwelcome. This is why it is so important to have summer camps for special needs children, where kids who have illnesses or disabilities can be with other kids just like them; these camps allow kids with special needs to be themselves, and to participate in activities with the support of counselors and staff who have plenty of training and experience, and know just what to do should an emergency arise.