April works full time in higher education balancing her time between her special needs son, handsome husband, elderly mother, and new baby coming in May 2014. She has a background in theatre, film, and television but somehow stumbled into the educational field. She loves spending time with her family, dreaming of the beach and organizing her house.

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Arizona Summer Camps for Special Needs Kids

This is the time of year where most parents think about what they want their children to experience when they are not in school.  Summer is just a few short months away and the best way to beat the heat is to plan ahead with activities.  It’s especially important for special needs children to be a part of something this summer even if you aren’t planning to take trips.  I have compiled a short list of camps that your child can do based in Arizona and California.  Good luck with the search!

Camp Candelight -If your child had a primary diagnosis of epilepsy and is between 8-15 years of age, then this is the camp for them!  It’s sponsored by the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona and the camp is staffed with an onsite neurologist, several nurses and counselors.  Besides the typical camp experiences, they also provide the kids with practical tips on dealing with epilepsy.

Camp Paivika -This camp runs year round for AbilityFirst, so there are many programs you can choose from throughout the year if the summer doesn’t work for your family.  They have programs for kids, teens and adults with mild to severe physical and developmental disabilities.  In addition to the standard camp programs, they also teach them life skills and social skills.  It also allows caregivers a chance to relax while the kids are being cared for by trained adults.

Camp Civitan -It is  wheelchair accessible for children and adults who are developmentally disabled in the pines. The Civitan Foundation has a lot of other programs including respite programs that are perfect for families to use.  The foundation has plans to have a working farm on the campgrounds in the future, but right now campers can enjoy all sorts of camp activities with guest instructors and even Smokey the Bear.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of camps in Arizona for special needs kids.  These are overnight camps and so it allows you to have a break from being a caregiver.  I am sure that there are a few others out there, but it will take some time to research them.  Hopefully this is a good start in deciding what camp to send your child to this summer.  Have fun researching!

 

 

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