Are you thinking about your child’s options for summer? Maybe you’re considering camp this year. Summer camps for children with disabilities can vary a great deal. Depending on the child’s needs and level of care required, a parent may have many or few options. Like anything special needs related, it often has to be planned out early and sometimes families have to seek out funding for these programs. Parents might be looking for a camp that focuses mainly on inclusive play with peers, while others look for fun, social and therapy combined. 

 

Researching summer camps can be aggravating for parents. There are lists all over the Internet for summer camps but many don’t offer programs for children with disabilities or special needs. Some camps have to be booked much earlier and you may already be too late. Below are a few BC summer camp options to help in your search. While I cannot recommend any specifically, I hope you will find this list helpful. Low vision users, please click on the camp name to link to their site.

 

Art Groups for Unique Artists: In Coquitlam this program works within developmental and cognitive capabilities to benefit social skill development / improved communication with others, increased motor skills and increased awareness of feelings.

 

Club Aviva Recreation: These Coquitlam camps are run by EMTS Therapists focusing on social integration, gross motor development and communication skills. Activities include Empowering Steps Movement Therapy, Aqua Therapy, bike riding, gymnastics, arts and crafts and classroom activities.

 

Easter Seal Camps: Easter Seal provides accessible recreation camps focused on abilities. They encourage confidence, independence and peer interaction while children enjoy the many recreation activities. This link provided is for BC Easter Seal Camps. Easter Seal also offers camps in other areas of Canada and the US.

 

Eureka Camp: This Richmond outdoor recreational program is for children and adolescents with invisible disabilities such as learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, mild Autism/Aspergers, Tourettes Syndrome, Oppositional Defiance Disorder or Epilepsy.

 

Kids Matter Summer Camps: In Abbotsford and Langley, they offer summer camps for learning social skills for children with learning disabilities, sensory processing disorders, Asperger’s Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, neurological disorders, and emotional disabilities. 

 

Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities: Located in Langley, they offer therapeutic riding and summer horseback riding camps geared towards elementary-school aged children.  

 

Play to Learn for Life Summer Camp: Vancouver Camp offering different groups for different learning needs such as developing fine motor skills, oral skills, preparing meals, ecosensory hiking adventures, relaxation using Brain Gym and Yoga.

 

Power To Be Adventure Therapy: In Victoria, this adaptive recreational program offers inclusive activities for all ages. The program is for youth with autism, families living with an acquired brain injury, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, people living with type 1 diabetes, oncology patients and youth adults and families living with developmental, cognitive or physical disabilities.

 

Purpose Society: In New Westminster, this Conductive Education Program offers programs for toddlers and school aged children. These are not overnight camps and focus on developing skills. Parents do attend some of the programs offered to learn how to support their children without over-helping.

 

Skilled Kids Occupational Therapy: West Vancouver summer camps for children with special needs and those who experience difficulties with printing and handwriting, and fine motor skills. 

 

Special Olympics British Columbia: Located in  51 Communities across the Province, they offer sports programs and competitions for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

 

Summer Social Therapeutic Camp: This Vancouver Camp has a variety of activities for children and teens with autism, learning disabilities, or AD/HD.

 

West Coast Speech Language Pathology Summer Groups: Vancouver based, West Coast Speech offers speech programs to a variety of ages. They have different learning groups such as Articulation, Social Thinking and Narrative Language, Social Thinking and Problem Solving for Teenagers, Perspective Taking, and Social Skills School Warm Up. 

 

 Zajac Ranch: In Mission, this ranch helps children who often don’t get the opportunity to attend camp due to serious or chronic illnesses or disabilities. They have a 24 hour on site Medical Center for campers needs. The ranch hosts hundreds of children every year. They offer many activities such as horseback riding, swimming, paddle boats, music and lots more.  

 

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(Wheel-ist-ic) Adj: awareness or acceptance of actual fact, real existence, or truth with relation to inclusion, accessibility and/or persons with disabilities.

Let’s Be Wheelisitic is a blog designed to open communication, share and create change through parenting, awareness, inclusion and advocacy. Over the years people have encouraged me to use my voice and experiences with my daughter to help others with or without disabilities, or parents of children with disabilities. This blog is my way of doing just that. I hope you will find this site enjoyable, educational, helpful, and rewarding.
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