Contributed by The Arc Snohomish County
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.