Summer programs and camps can be a fun way to help your child grow and improve their social skills while they are out of school. In many cases, they can support your child’s educational journey as well.
If your child has a disability, you may wonder what kind of accessibility and accommodations summer programs might offer. Here are a few critical things for parents to consider as we approach the summer season.
First: A note on ESY
As we have discussed in previous blog posts, your child may qualify to receive extended school year (ESY) services. These often include supports your child receives in addition to special education, such as physical therapy or speech-language therapy, continuing throughout the summer.
Parents should look into these services, and determine if their child qualifies. The continuation of these services outside of school can be critical.
Do services extend to summer programs?
Accommodations listed in your child’s individualized education program (IEP) are generally only related to school. However, school-based summer programs or camps might be different. Parents will have to confirm with their child’s school in these situations.
That is not to say that there are no accommodations for educational or recreational summer camps. In fact, most camps are subject to the rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
What about specialized camps and programs?
There are many adaptive and inclusive options for day camps and sleepaway camps for children with disabilities throughout California. The options range from camps specifically for:
- Children with mental health or behavior disorders
- Children with physical disabilities
- Children with learning disabilities
It is possible to find one that can help support your child’s learning and social skills – and most importantly, to let them have fun. Of course, parents of students with disabilities must conduct particular research when planning activities for their child’s summer, but they have various options that can support their child’s holistic needs.