Finding the Right Recreational Fit

Contributed by The Arc Snohomish CountyThe Arc Snohomish County logoChildren are sitting on the wooden table, each holding a different colored letter of the word "team."

Inclusive or Specialized?

When planning to enroll your child in a camp or activity, an important consideration is whether to look for an inclusive setting (children with and without special needs participating together), or find a specialized experience (exclusively for children with special needs).

Benefits of an INCLUSIVE Camp/Recreational Activity

  • Gives your child a sense of community belonging.
  • Provides an opportunity for growth and a stimulating environment.
  • Honors everyone’s unique abilities.
  • Builds collaboration and interdependence.
  • Enhances self-esteem.
  • Is often more affordable than specialized programs.
  • Allows for siblings to attend together.

Benefits of a SPECIALIZED Camp/Recreational Activity

  • Geared to your child’s special needs.
  • Provides opportunities to socialize with peers who have similar challenges or disabilities.
  • Opportunity to network with other families.
  • Most activities and rules will be appropriate for your child.

Plan for Success

  • Consider your child’s interests and abilities.
  • Look for camps or organizations open to family participation, ideas or suggestions.
  • Present your child in a positive light.
  • Visit the program/activity location prior to the first day of camp or class.
  • Work with your child on gaining appropriate skills.
  • Ensure s/he has the necessary equipment, clothing and personal supplies.
  • Ask if there’s anything you can do to help your child and the staff have a great experience.
  • Register early.

Recreation Resources

Get Connected for the Summer

Summer Camp Directory For Children with Special Needs

Whidbey Island Accessible Beach



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