As a mom who works full-time (although I do have a flexible schedule), I dread summer. I actually love summer (the season), but it is almost impossible to arrange childcare having an elementary school kid with Aspergers/ADHD and a kindergartener with ADHD/ODD.
“Normal” parents have their pick of camps – sleepaway camps, day camps, sports camps, nature camps, town rec camps. “Normal” parents can easily hire a babysitter. “Normal” camps and “Normal” babysitters are not an option for me.
This year, I did sign up my older son, John, for a regular camp. It’s actually an artsy/quirky camp. I obsess about things like:
Should I tell the camp about his disabilities beforehand? (on the application I WAS truthful)
Are they going to call after the first day or the first week to tell me he is being kicked out, that they are not the right “fit?”
Will he be a problem on the bus?
Will he be too wild at the camp?
Will he talk about random inappropriate things?
Will kids tease him?
Will I get a phone call while I’m at work telling me that I have to come pick him up?
The list goes on…
For my younger son (ADHD/ODD), despite googling, calling around, etc. I could not find a camp or program that would accept him. Get this… the camps specifically for kids with ADHD wouldn’t accept him. Why? Because he has had a history of behavioral problems. Ok, so help me better understand something… Don’t many kids with ADHD have a history of behavioral problems? And if your ADHD child DOESN’T have a history of behavioral problems, wouldn’t he be able to go to a “normal” camp?
I get it… the camps have to protect themselves. They do need to be the “right” fit. If I were a “normal” parent, would I want my kid to go to a camp where kids have major behavioral problems? No. I’m just angry that my life sucks in this way. For the record, we were able to hire a special ed teacher to watch my younger son all summer.