Most kids on the autism spectrum hate unexpected events. They detest surprises of any sort. Their bother scales rise rapidly when things turn out differently than they anticipated. Life at Camp Kindred often helps our kids learn a new lesson. One example occurred during Family Day 2012.
The first session of Camp Kindred 2012 ended with Family Day. Camp Kindred is our summer day camp for kids with high functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, or Non-verbal learning disability.
Family Day was fun for all, with a great ending to a session that, to be honest, was not without its bumps. Several kids were proud to show their families their new found paddling skills in canoes and kayaks in the bay. One camper took an unintended dunk: he was all smiles as he was towed back to shore in his life vest by Alex, our counselor who doubles as a competitive triathalete. This unplanned trip into the drink served as a great lesson for our kiddos: the unexpected can turn out to be a lot of fun.
We always have parents complete evaluations on Family Day. Here are some comments:
“Just a wonderful experience. J talked about having a few of the guys over our house as well as being able to hang out at their homes.” Don’t you love it – “the guys!” Next its gonna be popcorn and the Patriots. Another Mom: “Every day when he came home D raved about all the wonderful things he did at camp and talked about the friends he made.”
Stay tuned for some more stories from the first session, written by the CK counselors.
In hearing about the day though, I was reminded of a story from several years ago on Family Day. On this particular Family Day, the kids had a great time taking their families on the scavenger hunt they planned together in the morning before the families arrived. Everyone enjoyed the barbecue that followed as well. As the lunch was winding down, one Mom came to the camp Director. Her son’s behavior had shocked her: “He actually made me a “s’more”. I can’t believe it. I didn’t even ask him to. He just made it for me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I should eat it, or frame it.”
Our advice: Cut it in half, share half with your husband. Frame the rest!