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Summer camps for special needs students in Texas provide enriched education

Spring view at Lost Maples State Park
Spring view at Lost Maples State Park
by Karen DeLaughter

The summer months leave most parents feeling a little bit anxious. What to do with a kid that now has free time? Some special needs students will have access to programs at their local school over the summer as part of their Individualized Education Plan (IEP), but not all will find their local school's summer program beneficial. What's a parent to do? Perhaps it is time to consider an appropriate summer camp and all that it has to offer.

Not all camps are equal, of course, but providing a student with an opportunity for growth outside of his or her normal learning environment may be a fantastic way to try new ways of learning, get exposure to new environments, and perhaps even discover a better way to learn. It is through new experiences that a child can develop a better understand of how he or she learns. It is okay if the best way to learn science for you child changes from enjoying nature videos to actually yearning to go outside and touch the trees. It is also okay if a child tries to get involved with more hands on stuff at a summer camp setting and come away from it feeling like nothing really clicked. Not every activity is going to be an instant success, but providing ways to learn and grow comes with that risk.

Learning and growing does not necessarily mean that the child has to be sent away from his or her family. If a traditional style summer camp away from home does not sit well with you, consider creating your own outdoor camp experience. Go for a nature walk, learn about native plants, or design an entire week around the aspects of the outside world your child would love to learn more about. After all, having some extra time to do unique, student driven stuff like this is one of the best parts about summer.