My favorite experiences in life have happened at summer camps. As a child I went to Girl Scout Camp, drama camp and lots and lots of sports camps. As a teen I worked at a variety of special needs camps and attended student leadership camp. I spent every summer of my life age 5-33 at some kind of camp for at least some of time, be it attending or working. I love everything about camp, the friendships, the swimming, the camp fires, the singing - everything!
Most of our students attend some kind of summer school program to prevent regression and address emerging skills, but some are lucky enough to also go to summer camp. AAC summer camps are for children (and sometimes adults) that use a speech generating devices. Often times AAC camps are "family camps" with workshops for parents and activities for AAC users and siblings. AAC camps can be a great way for AAC users to do a traditional summer activity and meet others who use AAC.
Here are some links to AAC Camps*:
Building Bridges Summer Camp
Talking with Technology Camp
Camp Chit Chat
JumpStart (ages 3-5)
Once Upon a Story
AAC Camp at the ISAAC International Conference Summer 2012 ONLY
Authentic Voices of America
If there are no AAC Camps in your area some alternatives are:
- find a summer camp (specialized or inclusive) which will support your child's device use
- look at the specialized schools in your area, do any of them do a great job at AAC? Why not ask if your child can attend just for the summer? Perhaps your school district will allow this instead of their in house summer school?
- locate an SLP or Special Needs Education college program and ask for volunteers to work with your child and one or two of his or her AAC using peers a few times a month
- start your own AAC Camp or even an AAC social group!
*this list deliberately only includes AAC only camps, not camps for children or adults with disabilities who may or may not use AAC, it also does not include AAC camps which do not appear to be running in 2011 or which do not have websites.
Did I miss your camp? Please comment to add it!