Fostering Independence

Fostering Independence 



By Marcella Genut



As a parent, it’s often difficult to let go of your child. You wonder and worry if they’re ready to be on their own in the world. Especially for a parent of a child with special needs, you want your child to have the best future possible and to be independent. Despite the uncertainty, there is a place that fosters independence for many children with special needs.



Summer camp! Summer camp is a safe place that teaches kids skills they can only learn away from home. At camp, you have to get up in the morning, head to activities and try the activities on your own without parents. You eat meals and spend time with people you’re unfamiliar with. You also have to learn how to get along with everyone.



Psychologist Michael Thompson, author of “Homesick and Happy: How Time Away From Parents Can Help a Child Grow,” said, “When you face challenges away from your parents, you know the victory belongs to you alone. If you are, in fact, homesick and you overcome it – it means that YOU beat it.”



This is very helpful in the long run for a child. It provides resilience and children determine they can accomplish many things by themselves.



Kalon Carpenter, our Coordinator of Recreational Programs, said many kids become more independent during and after camp.



“We see children who have never dressed themselves, dress themselves at camp. Kids who were scared to swim by themselves in the pool, start to swim without a floaty. We also see kids take initiative and improve skills such as tying their shoes and washing their hands,” said Kalon.



Even tasks such as keeping up with their clothing, sticking to a schedule and choosing what to eat for meals, provides children with opportunities to grow in their independence. If you’re wondering whether or not to send your child to camp, one thing is for certain. They will become more independent in a safe, encouraging environment and have fun!



Sign your child up for camp today at: