Summer camp options for kids with special needs

Summer, children and camp just go together. Thankfully, the options for summer camps for children with special needs continue to expand, providing great opportunities for them to be in comfortable and encouraging environments, no matter their differences.

We found a few camps near and far to help you start your search. Find more camp options in our Resources section.

JCC Chicago Inclusive Camp

Campers of all abilities are welcome at JCC Chicago’s Inclusive Camp, which has been nationally recognized for including campers with a wide range of learning, developmental, cognitive, social and physical disabilities into the larger camp program. 

Teaming up with Keshet, a leader in inclusive recreation and education programs, JCC Chicago offers 12 inclusive day and overnight camps to campers with disabilities so they can experience a summer of adventure and friendship with their typically developing peers.

One in a Hundred

Since 2009, One in a Hundred summer camp has created a positive day camp experience by helping children who have challenges establishing and maintaining friendships, such as those diagnosed with high-functioning autism, social communication disorders, attention deficit disorder and anxiety disorders. Camp is for kids entering first-eighth grade and takes place June 25-July 27 at the Northbrook Covenant Church in Northbrook.

Over the five weeks, campers will write and perform their own plays, play sports and enjoy arts and crafts. Campers are placed in groups according to grade and social abilities and the curriculum adapts to the needs of each group.


Children with ADHD and related difficulties are embraced at Camp STAR in Highland Park. The seven-week day camp allows kids to enjoy fun, recreational camp activities while receiving therapeutic services that focus on improving behavior, developing social skills, building friendships and boosting self-esteem. The award-winning camp is for kids 6-13. Each child’s needs are assessed prior to the start of camp.

Transportation can be provided for an additional fee. 

Continue reading on page 21 of our digital edition.

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