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Summer Camps - The Benefits for Kids with Disabilities



How Are Summer Camps for Kids with Disabilities Different?


Summer camps designed for children with disabilities offer a similar experience to those for typically developing children, with the added benefit of accommodating a diverse range of ages, needs, and abilities. These camps are equipped to provide specialized care and support, ensuring every child can participate and enjoy the camps experiences.

Important considerations for these types of summer camps:


  • Staff are appropriately trained to understand and care for children with disabilities, ensuring the children have access to the tools needed for intervention.

  • Staff to client ratio is most often a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio, ensuring each child receives the individual attention and support they need to participate and grow.


Key Benefits


Summer camp programs created for children with disabilities provide opportunities for them to experience play-based therapy, new activities, and social interactions with other children of similar ages and abilities.


A) Social Skills Development: The development of social skills is a key component in the healthy development of interactions with peers and for social, emotional, and cognitive development (Flynn et al., 2019).


Prosocial skills are the learned behaviours that are intended to help others and allow individuals to engage positively in social interactions. These skills are critical for the development of social skills and maintaining healthy relationships. Some prosocial skills include:


  • Cooperation

  • Helping

  • Sharing

  • Communication

  • Respect for Others

  • Learning about ones own emotions and understand others


Research has found that for children with disabilities, summer camps have demonstrated improvements on measures of social skills from pre- to post-camp time periods. Children were found to show improvements in communication skills and feel less socially isolated (Flynn et al., 2019).



B) Time with Kids with All Abilities: Summer camps designed for children of all abilities provide them with a sense of belonging. These camps create an inclusive environment where kids with diverse needs and abilities can connect and share experiences. Being surrounded by peers who also require specific adaptations, children are less likely to feel singled out or treated differently. This supportive environment fosters comfort, and enables children to form friendships with others who understand their unique needs and abilities.


Studies have found that through attending summer camps with other children of all abilities, children demonstrated higher ratings of self-esteem after the camp (Flynn et al., 2019).


C) Life Skills Development: Themed camps designed for children with all abilities offer an opportunity to develop and strengthen specific abilities and skills. Specialized camps can provide activities and experiences with modifications to the children's needs, which might not be available at traditional camps due to lack of resources and appropriately trained staff. Trained staff ensures that each child’s individual needs are met, creating an environment where children with all abilities can explore new activities and experiences with confidence. This approach can enhance their opportunities for growth and enjoyment.



 

Summer Camps at Beyond Speech


We are offering summer camps for children with range of ages, goals, and abilities!


We are still welcoming clients to join us at some of our 2024 Summer Camps. All summer camps will be run by a Speech-Language Pathologist, or Occupational Therapist and feature a variety of different themes & activities:


  1. Social and Sensory Explorers - July 15th - 19th & August 12th - 16th, 2024

  2. Lil’ Inventors Workshop - July 22nd - 26th & August 19th - 23rd, 2024

  3. Literacy: Jumpstart to Kinder! - August 5th - 9th & 26th - 30th

Click here to learn more!


Everyone is welcome and we would love to have you!



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