Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Break Camp for Special Needs Kids is Nothing to Sneeze At

My son woke up in the middle of the night and complained that his nose was bothering him. He seemed to have some congestion so I tried to get him to blow his nose. But, though he’s nearly seven years old, he still doesn’t know how to do it.

So, at 2:15 AM, I tried giving him another lesson. Hold the tissue up to your nose with two hands. Take a breath and then close your mouth. Blow out with your nose.

He couldn’t grasp the concept. Instead, he kept trying to suck everything in.

This is another one of those paradoxes about autism that I wrote about earlier. Kai is obviously very intelligent in many ways. And, blowing your nose seems like such a simple concept. Why can’t he do it?

Fortunately, his nose wasn’t bothering him enough that he couldn’t fall back asleep. And, he seems fine this morning, though he claimed that he was too sick to have his swim lesson today (which was rescheduled from its usual Tuesday slot).

Funny thing, though, he said he wasn’t too sick to go to his winter break camp.

Over these two weeks that Kai is off from school, he is attending a half-day camp for kids with special needs. All of the kids have individual aides who help them through a great mix of activities ranging from gymnastics to arts and crafts to science projects. Kai loves all of those things and he seems to be having a great time. Before the first day of camp, he kept saying that he did not want to go. But, once he started, he always has a smile at the end of each day’s camp and says that he had fun.

As Kai would likely not be able to participate in a regular camp with all of his behavioral issues, my wife and I were happy to have found this opportunity for him. The fact that he enjoys it so much makes us feel even better.

And, that is nothing to sneeze at.

For those in the Chicago area, A Big Blast is the organization that is putting on the Winter Break Camp. They also have a lot of other great activities that you may want to check out at their website.

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