Again another year has passed and it’s time to start thinking about Autism Summer Camp.
I sit here and think back to when my kids: Michael and Beverley first attended. Back before you stood in line for hours to make sure you were one of the “lucky” ones.
Back then we were given 6 weeks every summer of specialized one on one training for our kids. They use university students or special education teachers that have an interest in the area of working with children with special needs.
As a parent you fill out mountains of papers telling the Autism Resource Center really all the “ins and outs” on your kid.. then they use the information to find someone specifically that would be better suited to work with your child.
The benefits of this camp are amazing! Here is a quick video so you can experience some of the fun too!
My kids have learned social skills, communication skills and have become more independent. They have found their place where they are comfortable… they have found things that they like and love to do.. and things that they not so love! LOL
Then the amalgamation happened – the Health Region took over all services of the Autism Resource Center for children under the age of 18.
Now we find our camps have dropped to 5 weeks of services.
When there is a two month lull between school terms – if there is no daily routine in place – our children regress very quickly and you see less speech, less eye contact, more meltdowns, etc.
I am again reminded of how many children every year access these services when I look over an old email from last year…
If you have a child aged 3 – 6 now – you are only allowed 1 to 3 weeks! A time that is crutial to their growth mentally and physically!
My kids are old enough now that they are offered better services, but what about these other kids?
They are at an age where they desperately need the intervention.
The cost every year to run these camps jumps. We spend a lot of time fundraising through local businesses and walk-a-thons and baseball or golf tournaments and through steak nite fundraisers.
Just to send our two children for 5 weeks is almost $3000.
Every year the diagnosis of Autism rises.
It is now 1 out of 50 children.
When you think that only 15 kids are allowed to attend in any given week… and there are literally 100’s of kids waiting in line – that’s a lot of kids that go without services.
When my kids first attended camp – there were like 89 kids with Autism that year.
Now 8 years later… there are over 700 kids it’s said.
The numbers are staggering.
The cost of camps upward of $700,000.