Separation Experiment

day camp This is the first summer I have sent Daniel to a day camp. This particular camp has been around since before he was diagnosed autistic and it is specific to the needs of ASD children. They group the kids by age range and functioning level. There are activities scheduled each day and all of the campers are provided a one-to-one aide.

So why now that Daniel is 13 is this the first time I’ve sent him to camp?

The best I can do to explain is to give you this analogy…. Imagine sending your non-verbal 2 year old to a preschool where there is a camera feed so you can check in occasionally. You see your child crying and the aide keeps trying to give him a drink but he keeps dropping the cup. He is not thirsty but the aide is not picking up on the signals. He is becoming more and more frustrated and is slipping into the breathless cry where he gasps in between frantic wailing. You know what the problem is so you give the school a call to provide the proper remedy.

Now imagine the same scenario without the ability to see what is unfolding. Chances are there will be an instance where your child needs a communication intervention but you won’t know it so your child spends the entire day in a very stressful situation.

Now keep in mind that Daniel’s language skills are that of a 2 year old and he has been in some sort of preschool for as long as I can remember but somehow this seems different. There are no IEP meetings and no preparations beyond a short conversation with the aide.

I know it is still not beneficial for me or my son if I continue to be there for him 24/7 so this is my small step toward letting him go. He then will be obliged to utilize whatever communication skills he has acquired and hopefully expand on them in the process. I have to learn to trust those in charge and let Danny have the opportunity to learn, grow and enjoy an independent experience without me perched at his side.

Two days in and who do you think is having the harder time with this separation experiment?
………….
Update: HE LOVED IT!!! 🙂

 

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Kate Myers

0 thoughts on “Separation Experiment

  • August 31, 2009 at 1:23 am
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    @liferemainsbeautiful@xanga –  Surf Camp is run by experienced surfers with experience in autism as well.  The board is flagged by  2 additional aides and the child guides the progression of the lessons from just laying on the board all the way up to riding a wave. 

    As for me, it’s One Day at a Time, Sometimes One Minute at a Time.  3 good days in a row and counting on a fourth. My faith is strong and that’s the glue that holds it together many times over.  

    . .   

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  • August 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm
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    @P1AutismMom – That’s really exciting that he’s enjoying himself.  A surf camp? Like surfing on the ocean? That’s scary…

    But you still didn’t tell me anything about YOU! =P

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  • August 30, 2009 at 5:19 pm
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    @liferemainsbeautiful@xanga –  Aw, thanks for asking…  It’s All Good!!  Of course there were some moments that got tense because his aid wasn’t sure what he was trying to convey but all in all the activity level was so high Dan never really had much of a chance to get stressed out.  Signing him up for next year and additionally going to get him in a surf camp.  Better start saving my pennies now.  🙂 

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