Our son attended a church camp in the summer that started a program for integrating kids and teens who on on the autism spectrum. It was perfect because it was for half a day (which works well for him as social can often be very demanding and draining for kids on the spectrum) and they offered professional support.
This camp offered a very unique experience. Normally camps like this cut off at age 11 or 12. But what happens when they are a little order but still enjoy some of these activities? I asked myself this very question!
It can be an awkward age where the kids or teens are caught in the middle.
For our son, this program worked great. He was able to take on a partial leadership role as well as participate — the best of both worlds. I saw growth and development at this camp and it made me aware that he is very independent. I don’t need to do everything for him all the time and as a parent, I need to be aware of this so that I can foster his independence.
With support, his leadership skills and participation in this area developed substantially and it makes me realize that we need to keep on this path so that he can gain more self-confidence and solve his own problems on a daily basis because he has the ability to do this.
I think for all parents (and particularly those who have children with different needs) we tend to jump in, instead of standing back.
This week at camp was a great experience for our son as well as for me as a parent. Going forward, I want him to be more independent and I know he can do it with a little guidance at the beginning.
I am so very proud of our son. He truly is an amazing person who surprises me every day!