We’re sending the Monster to summer camp again this year.
Last year, his summer was divided between the camp at the JCC – trying to give him at least a little bit of a ‘normal’ Jewish environment – and a speech/language program run by Towson University. This meant running different directions on different days, but it was good for him and kept him occupied in the mornings.
This year, he’s going to all-day summer camp, including being picked up by the bus and dropped off after camp’s done. It’s not too much different than the schedule he’s already going through, so that should leave a level of stability in his life when we transition from school to the summer, even if it’s only for a few weeks.
The biggest benefit is that the camp is used to having special needs campers, and are well aware that the Monster is on an IEP. There are plans being put into place to have his IEP services delivered to him at the camp, to the extent that it’s possible, and hopefully that’s not going to interfere too much with his getting to do the normal summer activities. (His new ‘finalized’ IEP arrived yesterday in his backpack when I got him home from gymnastics. I’ve not yet looked to see everything in it, to ensure that the comments we made in the IEP session were included, but I’m expecting that their assertion that he needs to have ESY should be in there. Otherwise, we’re going to have a fight.)
My aspirations, when it comes to this, aren’t an incredibly high bar to sail over. My goal is to keep him from backsliding over the summer without his services, so we start off again at the end of August with him still in a position to progress on his speech and OT goals without having to make up ground that we’ve already covered. Other than that, I want him to have something akin to a normal, fun summer like any other child his age. I’d like for him to potentially learn to swim at least a little bit – more than the bouncing around in the water that he does now, or clinging to me or the wife – and to have time to learn to play a sport or something, maybe make some hardly-memorable art projects… but fun is my paramount goal.
Course, it would be nice if he could get to the point where he could tell us about his day at camp… but that’s down the road still…