Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Entrusting A Child to a Camp
Even with our neuro-typical children, we were not quick to send them to a camp. I have always thought that the child should be asking for the experience before being sent to an all-day or sleep away camp.
It is even more of a worry with our autistic son. Don and I are attending the annual RDI conference for the first time. We can't do our usual tag team parenting. I am thrilled that Don is willing to attend this important conference with me. We thought about leaving Alan in the hotel room alone for each day's program. Actually, he would be safe there and he would likely have a reasonably good time. He likes to use his computer and watch television uninterrupted.
I think, though, that attending the camp program would be enjoyable for him and also a good experience. He already goes one afternoon a week to the local Teen Center during the school year. He is used to following the directions of the adult in charge now.
The sports portion of the camp takes place, it says, in nearby Balboa Park. I have lots and lots of questions about this, although sports are his first choice. The park is huge. It is an urban park with many people passing through it. I am uncertain about the safety issues of being in a park and under the supervision of one adult to three children. I worry about his use of the rest room. I worry about him crossing fields and parking lots and most of all about getting distracted and not following safety instructions. Tomorrow I can call the director. Like all parents, I will have to judge for myself what the situations are likely to be. You know, I'll bet that parents of neuro-typical (NT) teens would have the same kinds of questions. Alan's lack of social awareness makes it even more problematical. While I can't let my fears for him keep him from doing things, I also have the responsibility to assess what I know could be the dangers and to decide what risk we could be taking. I can't see him doing Arts and Crafts for three days, although he does like them. Let's see what the director has to say tomorrow.



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