We looked at a new day camp today for Noah. It's a part special needs, part typical kid camp. The special needs part is mostly MR and autism, but they offer a program for other special needs kids that is a small group with more support that interacts with the regular camp.
The director assured me that Noah would be with kids that are cognitively OK but have more problems with anxiety and other behavioral issues.
We wouldn't have to worry about fighting the insurance company for a TSS for him. He'd also be with staff that are trained to deal with behavioral problems, so I wouldn't be worried every time my cell phone rings that the director is calling to tell me about a problem.
It's very different from the camp he was at the last two years. The physical space is much smaller. Noah noticed that right away. I'm sure once he starts the program he'll notice they don't have all of the same activities either.
Another family came in to visit while we were there and one of their kids had Down Syndrome. Rich told me when Noah saw him his mouth fell open, but he didn't say anything.
I think that of all our options this is the best one for us, at least for this summer. Of course the cost is more, but if I take on a couple extra work projects that will help. Any thought of a summer vacation is out, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to try one of those anyway.
Still, I have this deep sadness in me over it. Instead of Noah moving towards a more typical, independent program he seems to be requiring even more support.
I know this is only for one summer. If he doesn't like it we can always go back to the typical camp with a TSS route next year.
Just a couple days ago I found out about a sleep-away camp in NJ that has a program for kids with ADHD and PDD. I've been fantasizing for the last three days about sending Noah there for the summer. It's been very tempting considering his behavior this last week as we try and work through another medication change.