Intellectual or developmental delays (IDD) are disorders presented at birth that uniquely affects the trajectory of an individual’s intellectual, physical, and emotional development. Most of these conditions affect multiple body systems or parts, including the sensory system, nervous system, or metabolism. A camp is an excellent place for your child to be physically fit and active, and day camps for kids with IDD provide the same effect. In this supportive and safe environment, they can personally challenge themselves and as a team. As a result, it builds self-confidence through a sense of achievement. Below is a detailed guide on the benefits of a day camp for a child with IDD.
1. Social Skill Building at Camps for IDD
Generally, children with intellectual or developmental delays struggle to engage with their peers. While no child is born with an innate skill for understanding social norms, kids with special needs can take a longer time and effort to understand them.
Social development skills like patience, problem-solving, and empathy allow a child to understand what to do when faced with conflict. And if a child isn’t well-socialized, they can struggle with these feelings daily.
Day camps for children with special needs address these core issues by providing a thriving environment. As a result, children with similar disabilities can engage in activities together, practice reading social cues, and ultimately create ties and friendships through shared experiences.
2. Access to Modified Outdoor Options
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires all camps to have reasonable accommodations for all children. This ensures that all camping sites don’t exclude a child based on their disability. However, the available activities may be limited or not suited to your child’s unique needs, making them feel secluded and lonely.
When you choose a day camp for kids with developmental delays, the child has many different activities to engage in, specifically designed with their needs in mind. Day camps provide lots of space and new terrains for new challenges. These become valuable for gross motor and fine motor skills and development.
3. Helps Develop Independence and Build Confidence
Children who have developmental delays are more dependent than their peers. Parents and guardians tend to become more protective. Thus, limiting the activities the child can engage in without thinking about how the lack of independence affects the child.
In addition, their medical condition may require a lot of time in therapy and hospitals. This restricts the child to a rigid routine without the ability to make a single decision for themselves. Day camp can offer the child a break from routine, and also provide an opportunity for the child to make decisions independently. Then, this boosts their confidence through their accomplishments.
4. Skills Development
Day camps can help a child with IDD develop new skills which they can carry over to adulthood. For example, life skills such as community living, personal care, and self-awareness provide the child with the ability to be self-sufficient as they grow, cutting down on their dependence on parents or caregivers.
Children with special needs have more difficulty mastering life skills due to their developmental or cognitive disabilities. However, day camps for kids with IDD include instructions and activities targeting children with unique abilities. Thus, allowing them to develop the skills by themselves.
5. Camps for IDD Provide an Opportunity to Try Something New
According to Granite State College, the first step in helping a child with IDD become literate is presuming competence in their ability to learn a new skill. This means putting aside preconceived notions about the child’s ability to accomplish a task based on their estimated IQ or assumed limitations.
Day camp presents a great opportunity for the child to try something new with access to modified recreational activities. In addition, experiencing new activities can help your child take their mind off treatments, creating lasting memories.
6. Time With Other Kids With IDD
Sending a child with IDD to a camp with kids with similar needs will help them feel like any other kid–it’s comforting to the child who usually feels different from their peers. When a child feels more comfortable around their peers, they can let their guard down to relax and have more fun.
Embracing diversity and inclusion in early childhood, including during recreational activities and classrooms, gives the child a chance to succeed. The kids will not have to feel overly self-conscious, allowing them to develop social skills.
7. A Break for Parents and Caregivers
Having your child away camping will likely make you anxious because you’re unsure if your child’s needs will be adequately met. However, day camps for kids with developmental delays are specially equipped to meet the children’s unique and different needs in a fun and interactive environment.
Caring for a child with developmental delays can be draining since it affects the parents’ or guardians’ ability to live a normal life, attend school, or work independently. As a parent or guardian, the day camp can provide you with a break from caring for a child with special needs. Thus, helping you recharge to efficiently care for your child.
8. Trained Staff and Support at Camps for IDD
Day camps designed for kids with developmental disabilities have trained support staff who understand how to care for and interact with the kids. While at camp, your child can continue to receive therapy and whatever care they need, and from professionals, nonetheless.
Specially trained camps for kids with IDD will give you the peace of mind that your child is in an inclusive environment that understands their needs and triggers. This environment will encourage them to take risks, grow their dependence, and boost their self-esteem.
Understand and Support Kids With Developmental Delays Through Venture Foundation
Children with developmental delays require lifetime support, which can be emotionally and financially draining. Additional support from the community and the environment helps parents/guardians care for their children with IDD.
Venture Foundation helps create public awareness about individuals with intellectual and developmental delays in the hope of creating a safe supportive environment for them. Contact us today to support our efforts in making the world better for people with intellectual developmental delays.