Finding the right camp or other summer program can be tricky for children and youth with special needs.
Several local school systems offer lists of summer camps.
From Alexandria City Public Schools:
From Arlington Public Schools:
From Fairfax County Public Schools Parent Resource Center:
From Loudoun County Public Schools Parent Resource Services:
From Prince William County Parent Resource Center:
In addition, several jurisdictions offer therapeutic recreation programs in summer:
- City of Alexandria Therapeutic Recreation
- Arlington County Therapeutic Recreation Summer Camps
- Fairfax County Therapeutic Recreation Programs and Camps
- Loudoun County Adaptive Recreation Summer Camp
Once you have found a camp that meets the interests of your child and needs of your family, schedule an interview with the director or special needs coordinator. Questions might include:
- What’s the age range of campers?
- What’s the staff-to-camper ratio? How old are most of the counselors?
- What type of certification do the counselors have?
- Do staff members have a background working with kids with special needs?
- Does the camp adopt a positive behavioral approach that establishes and supports positive expectations from the start?
- How are camp staffers trained to handle behavioral and emotional problems?
- What’s the turnover rate? Do kids and staff come back?
- What’s the camp’s philosophy? Does it fit with your goals for your child?
- What kind of medical and nursing staff is available in the infirmary and during what hours? Can the staff administer any medications your child needs?
- Can you speak with a veteran parent or caregiver of a child with disabilities who has attended the camp?
- AMC Theaters offers sensory-friendly showings of current movies, https://www.amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films
- Fairfax County Library Summer Nature Backpack Loans with Free Pass to any Virginia State Park
- Accessible northern Virginia parks and water parks, http://www.accessiblevirginia.org/outdoorrecreation/northernvaaccessibleplaygrounds.htm