Summer Camp Ideas For Children On The Autism Spectrum

Posted on: 31 May 2022

Summer camps are a rite of passage, educational, enriching, and (most importantly, as far as a child is concerned) lots of fun. As the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, you don't want your child to miss out on anything, nor do you want to put them in a situation that could be too intense for them. What's the best way for them to enjoy the summer camp experience while still making sure that they're not overwhelmed by the situation?

True Diversity

The thing about neurodiverse children is that they're each unique. A child on the autism spectrum can have vastly different characteristics resulting from their condition when compared to another child on the spectrum. You're in the best position to judge your child's capabilities, but you still might be hesitant to send them to a traditional summer camp for a period of weeks. Fortunately, there's a happy medium.

Familiarity and Routine

There are numerous summer day camps developed specifically for children on the autism spectrum. The fact that these camps don't involve an overnight stay can be extremely helpful. If your child appreciates familiarity and a routine, the camp unavoidably must disrupt this, to some degree. However, as your child will come home each night, the disruption will be minimal since your child can return to the comfort and safety of their own environment. A day camp format allows your child to expand their horizons, while still being able to spend each night in familiar surroundings.

Specialist Facilities

Day camps for children on the autism spectrum are, by definition, specialist facilities. Activities are developed especially for children on the spectrum, with an emphasis on sensory input—ensuring that your child isn't overstimulated. Your child's existing boundaries are respected, with the activities on offer intended to safely expand your child's boundaries, little by little, overseen by qualified camp counselors and support staff who have experience with the condition. 

Activities on Offer

The activities on offer will vary from camp to camp, but many will include many that are autism-specific. Some may have a practical intention, such as activities designed to foster social skills or even personal safety skills. But you're sending your child to a summer camp, not a summer school. So there should also be a wide range of fun outdoor activities available as well. 

There's nothing stopping a child on the autism spectrum from joining in and going to summer camp. But to be sure that your child enjoys themselves and is truly enriched by the experience, it's worthwhile to find out if there are any summer day camps for children on the autism spectrum in your area.