special-needs camp directory to find one that's right for you
and your child.
Who cares if the snow is still flying? It's time to
consider summer camp options for your child. The Chicago area is
teeming with day, overnight and away camp choices, assuring
something for everyone regardless of age, ability, interest or
budget. Tucked inside all the fun is an abundance of benefits,
especially for children with special needs.
Consider these important benefits of a summer camp
Registration is already under way for many camps. Since
the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, all camps must
make reasonable accommodations so that children with special needs
can attend. Thirty years ago, before the passage of the ADA, most
parents felt lucky if there was even one camp that met their
child's needs. Today the choices are plentiful, including
specialized camps designed just for children with a particular need
(asthma, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, cancer, etc.), and also
general camps that may be geared to kids with special needs,
including kids who have learning or behavioral problems, kids with
specific chronic illnesses, and kids with mental or physical
impairments. Now, thanks to the ADA, any camp can be a possibility
with the right supports, staff training and planning.
Whether it is a day experience nearby or a week-long away
camp, your local special recreation association, park district,
village, church, private or nonprofit disability agency are all
options to seek. The best fit for you and your child is out
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