It is summer time in most parts of the world and it is time for summer vacation. Children are trying to enroll themselves in swimming classes, dance classes, summer camps and all their favourite activities. The only children who don’t have a choice but to stay at home are the ones with disabilities. Their needs are hardly ever met by summer camps or any other clubs for children.
This summer the special children with disabilities like autism and other development disabilities won’t get bored anymore. Their needs will now be taken care of by Horizons Developmental Remediation Center, Michigan, which has organized their Summer Fun Camps where all the children with developmental disabilities can enjoy as much as everyone without fearing isolation and dejection. TheHorizons Developmental Remediation Centre has been organizing Summer Fun Camps for special children since the past 6 years and welcomes children and teens from all over the world. The Summer Fun Camps have been providing the children with disabilities a platform to ‘develop new friendships, have fun and make new discoveries’.
“One of the best parts of each summer is watching the relationships our campers develop with the staff and with each other,” says Camp Director Courtney Wiersum. “They are already starting to ask what weeks their friends will be coming so they can be sure to see them!”
The most important feature of the summer camp is that it introduces a new theme every week like problem solving, collaboration, communicating and engaging with others. “The growth of the Center and our camps program has been amazing, and speaks to the need for these kinds of programs. We recognize the incredible potential each of our campers has to learn and engage with others. At the same time, they may need a slower pace and more support to reach their potential. Our camps provide the best of both worlds–great opportunities for discovery and friendships, coupled with the support and encouragement needed to take advantage of those opportunities,” says Nicole Beurkens, founder and Director of the Center.
The second key feature of the camp is that the children are managed by highly experienced and trained professional experts, camp counselors and volunteers from various backgrounds and the staff consists of recreational therapist, certified special education teachers, an occupational therapist, a speech language pathologist and consultants certified in the Relationship Development Intervention Program.
Experienced campers like Phillip Kuperus have already started planning a warm welcome by planting plants and seeds of pumpkins in the garden for their old friends whom they wish to meet again in the camp this year.
Weirsum excitedly said that if the children are planning to join the camp then they must get ready for ‘a whole new series of adventures like ‘sailing with the pirates on high seas, planting a garden, blasting off in space and much more’. The centre is planning to give an all new set of experience this summer.
The ones interested in the Horizons summer camps can get more information from www.horizonsdrc.com.