Monday, July 4, 2011


The county park and rec dept in our new town has a camp for individuals w/ special needs. I applied for 'Rella- late - because we moved here as registration was winding up. The camp has openings for her for two weeks in July.

I have been reluctant to leave her with people I don't know and so this camp is outside my comfort zone, although I was extremely impressed with the staff during the assessment/screening process. And 'Rella is beginning to be able to tell me things that she experienced while we are apart. I would not send her to SCAMP in Michigan when she was younger b/c she couldn't tell me if she was mistreated. The news stories of autistic campers being left asleep on a school bus, forgotten all day, were enough for me to skip that camp.

I was impressed with the assessment/screening. The screener spoke TO "Rella(instead of asking me, "What does she like to do?"), and gave her plenty of processing time without repeating questions as if my 'Rella did not hear her. She took "Rella on a tour of the park and rec building
while I completed paperwork - interesting, because the camp is NOT located at the park and rec building (it is at a school building). In the car on the way home, I asked 'Rella what she saw on the tour and she told me several things, including the fact that they saw the place where moms
leave their babies while they go exercise.

It's heavily activity and play based and they seem thrilled to have a group of girls for 'Rella. I think I'm relaxing somewhat because 'Rella is beginning to tell me things that happened when she is apart from me. The lack of ABAisms and behavioral techniques during the screening certainly impressed me. There was not a single command for "Rella to make eye contact; not a single artificial "good job!"

"Rella has not done anything from 9 am to 3 pm since December of 2007. I figure she'll be PooPed when she gets home. The park and rec dept also hosts get-togethers for parents of campers at the camp, so maybe I will meet some other parents of kids w/ special needs.

The staff is excited to have a class of all girls for her. She continues to ask me for some friends.

I would appreciate your praying with me for a positive week, that the staff will communicate with me, that 'Rella will make some friends - and most important - that I'll get enough information to know early in the week if I need to pull her from the camp, if that makes any sense.

1 comment:

Di said...

Penny, the camp sounds fabulous. Your girl is spreading her wings... and so are you! Enjoy :-)

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