French people take Summer vacation very seriously. Nearly everyone leaves Paris during the month of August and a some families manage to take off both July and August to go away with their kids. That’s wonderful! However, for the special needs families with whom I work, unfortunately, it is not that easy. This is why we offer a special needs Summer camp at Le Chemin ABA!
Why Summer can be difficult for special needs families :
- School is out and children are spending more time than usual at home.
- It is hot out and some children have less than pleasant reactions to the heat (irritability, heat rashes, increased melt-downs, greater food selection, tummy upsets, to name a few). Air conditioning is quite limited in Paris so when it is hot, it is hot.
- There is less support in general for families. Most professionals are on vacation and schools are closed and families can end up feeling quite alone.
- There may not be a special needs Summer camp in your area.
Why we stay open at Le Chemin ABA :
- My main goal at my learning house is always to make everyday life better, calmer and happier for the families I work with. Staying open during the Summer makes the families happy!
- The children have so much fun here all year long and particularly during the Summer. We are so lucky to have a small outdoor garden (this is so unusual in Paris!) and hosing the kids down while the dogs jump around at their feet is really fun and something a lot of the kids don’t get to experience any place else. #summerbliss
- Summer is also a great time to start a home program. I am always so excited to help families use the Summer months to create their inspirational playroom, select the educational materials they need to start teaching their kids at home and to put in place the organizational system they need to succeed! 🙂 #summerwin
- It gives mom and dad a break! Parents are people (you heard it here first!) and they get exxxxxhhhauuusssted! Sometimes I feel like I almost need to scoop the parents up off the front doorstep when they arrive with their kids for sessions. These extraordinary mommies and daddies are juggling full-time jobs, other kids, school meetings, home program goals, sessions here, food shopping, everything… It’s a lot! I also get really excited when I know that mom and dad are going to have a coffee together or a relaxing lunch while their little one is having a fun Summer day with us!
- Families with special needs kids often don’t even have the luxury of calling a babysitter. I am really happy that they can hang out with us while their parents get to do something nice for themselves.
- Our Summer program accepts children with and without special needs. Our special needs kiddos often invite their siblings to come and join in the Summer fun with us too!
- If siblings are not with us, it gives mom and dad a chance to spend time with them whereas they may need to give more attention to the special needs child / children most of the time.
- Summer is a fabulous time to do some intensive work towards educational goals we have in place for children who are just starting school or changing grade levels.
- We have so much fun staying open during the Summer and doing so many awesome Summertime activities! There is no place we would rather be. 🙂
What do we do in our special needs Summer camp?
- Individual sessions.
- Mini group sessions.
- Arts & crafts, music, gardening, cooking, and fine motor sessions.
- Animal-assisted therapy session with our therapy dogs, Violette and Chou Chou.
- Small group, adapted Summer camp for children with autism and other special needs.
- Programs in English and in French.
- If you are interested in signing up for our special needs Summer camp, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here.
How you can use Summer to teach your child at home ?
If you are unable to enroll your child in a Summer program or prefer to create a fabulous Summer program at home for your little one, here are some wonderful resources for you!
♥ Decide what you will teach your child. Choose specific goals and work towards them with your special needs child.
♥ Teach matching with a fun and easy farm animals matching game.
♥ Make some fun and simple origami for children with special needs.
♥ Take the Autism 101 e-course offered by The Autism Society for FREE!
♥ Create some Montessori learning trays with your child with special needs.
♥ Considering adding a therapy animal to your family. (Meet our therapy dogs Violette and Chou Chou!)
♥ Create a collection of adapted therapy toys for your special needs child to increase your child’s motivation and the success of your home program.
♥ For more information about setting up a home program for your child, read about setting up a home team and how to teach an autistic child.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! I love to hear from you. If you are in Paris, we hope you will join us for our special needs Summer camp!
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