Two exciting words for many kids and parents. For children and families living with autism, the end of the school year and the long days of summer can be very challenging- and anything but relaxing. Finding appropriate and accomodating summer camps and activities for children on the spectrum requires some preparation and planning. We hope this information will help you prepare for a relaxing, pleasant and relatively stress-free summer.
You know your child best
Explore both inclusive and specialized programs to determine where your child will be supported, feel a sense of belonging, and maintain his or her independence while also gaining a sense of interdependence.
Find a camp that focuses on an activity your child enjoys.
Look for camps that are open to suggestions or encourage family participation.
Be honest and upfront about what your child needs.
Finding a Camp or Activity:
We are fortunate to have an outstanding local resource in our region to prepare your child for camp and locate summer activities for children that require accommodation and support. The Center for Children with Special Needs at Seattle Children’s has a comprehensive list of summer camps and activities, including programs serving the autism community:
A major stumbling block I have found is that there is not a camp in WA state that is willing to accommodate a child with food allergies. With the number of children on (and off) the spectrum requiring medically-necessary dietary interventions for their health, it’s tragic that our kids aren’t welcome at camp. Please correct me if I am wrong- or point me to a camp who is willing to help a camper with multiple food allergies? I exhausted the resource list many times and applied for Camp Korey twice, at Children’s staff urgings, and was turned down (twice).
Blue Compass Camps accommodates food allergies. We also make accommodations for kids on the GFCF diet – about 20% of our campers are on this diet so we bring a fair amount of gluten and casein-free foods with us on our trips for teens. For our day camp with 7-9 year olds, they bring their own lunch so food allergies and preferences are as much of an issue. If we have someone with a strong allergy, such as a peanut allergy, we kindly ask other parents to not send their kids to camp with related foods. We are sorry you haven’t found us yet!
High Tide Day Camp in Shoreline can accommodate those with food allergies.
Campers can either bring their own lunches or arrange for camp-provided lunch.
Can assist even if child must carry Epipen.
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/High-Tide-Day-Camp/746438162068421.
phone: (206) 795-5836
Cathi Cunningham, B.S., C.M.A.