Physical and Developmental Disability Camps for Children

A summer time vacation is desired by all, whether you have a disability or not. However, there are certain things parents expect out of a special needs camp that must accommodate their child’s disabilities. Many of such kids struggle with the time management, problem solving skills, and organisation. After identifying the child’s needs, one must research the vast variety of camps for kids with disabilities and choose the one best suited. Developmental disability camp serve the children with special needs, who require more guidance than the normal camper.

A handicap camp is one of the best ways to allow a child to interact with other kids who are in a similar situation and thus allow them to develop their communication skills, as well as make friends. These tips and resources may serve as a starting guide to your perfect special needs summer camp search.

What to expect out of a handicap camp?

A child with special needs has the same basic needs when it comes to the growing up process. With an extra emphasis on addressing their unique disabilities, a handicap camp is designed to benefit kids by developing their interpersonal skills and also making sure they have a good time.

Even though each disability camp has its own way of conducting activities, there are some basic aspects that must be expected out of all of them. Special needs summer camps exist to make sure kids are involved in several activities and unique interests that develop their athletic and creative sides. Some of these handicap camps are designed to address specific disabilities so that children do not have to feel out of place.

Moreover, this encourages interaction with other kids, and helps them develop inner confidence. These disability camps also allow kids to have an opportunity to develop friendships, respect elders and also develop leadership skills. As they are away from their parents for extended periods of time, they also learn to become independent and self-reliant.

The counselors of the developmental disability camp are specifically trained individuals, hailing from the field of education and psychology, who have undergone specific camp specialised training programs to teach the various behavioral techniques and learning manners. The camp director usually holds an interview prior to the enrollment process in order to determine whether the camp is fit for the child. In case the child is on certain medications, it will be dispensed off by the trained medical professional of the staff. There is specialised arrangement for the on call doctors from the nearest hospital.

Different types of special needs summer camps

Deciding on the correct kind of disabled camp for your child is very important. It is essential that you include your child in this decision as they might have specific requests as well. The first step is to determine the duration of the camp. Camps range from daytime only, weekend, or even entire summers. Talking to your child and figuring out what would be best for them and their special needs would benefit all. After deciding on the duration, one must look into the different types of camps.

Inclusionary camps are the main kind of camps that have existed for years. However, in recent years, the ADA – The Americans with Disabilities Act – requires that all camps must make appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities. This may include adding wheelchair accessibility ramps, wider hallways and so on. In this way, regular camps can now accommodate special needs kids and make them feel welcome.

Sometimes, the disability of a child makes it impossible for them to attend a regular camp. The family might even prefer not to send them to a regular camp for the fear that the child may feel out of place there. Camps for kids with disabilities are very common these days.

Finding the correct kind of special needs camp is essential to the growth and confidence building process of the kid. Conducting a lot of research and asking other parents for recommendations would help in making the right decision for your child.

Here Is a list of the various physical and developmental disability summer camp  programs for the children with special needs.


  • Watch me grow summer camp:  This camp is created and led by a licenced occupational therapist, who runs a 6 week program to emphasize on the fine and gross motor development of the children with all levels of developmental growth, to learn, have fun, and enhance their developmental skills. The camp runs 5 days a week for 6 weeks, and offers evaluations, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and other psychological services.
  • Southampton fresh air home:  This is a non profit organization premier camp for physically challanged children and has been functional for the past 116 years. It is located in the Southampton New York and is accredited by the American camping Association. The camp is organized for children aged 8 to 18 years and is led by a caring and well trained staff. It runs for a flexible 1 or 3 week session with more than 100 activities. The camp provides the facility of a full-time registered nurse onsite 24 x 7. It even provides financial aid for all levels of need.
  • Camp Easterseals UCP: It is an overnight camp in New Castle Virginia for children and adults with disabilities. It also offers summer camp, weekend respites, and family camps. The camp focuses on increased independence, to improve self esteem, making new friends and the development of social skills, and an unique outdoor experience. Specialised team of therapists, teachers and other health professionals help each individual camper to achieve independence and reach his/her personal goals.
  • Tuolumne Trails: This camp is located on the 80 acres of Sierra Nevada outside the mountain community of Groveland, California. The Camp is surrounded on three sides by the National Forest making it ideal for natural scenic beauty and relaxation.
  • Brecht stables and Dustin’s place: The main program offered at this camp is the therapeutic horseback riding section.  They run an equine assisted physiotherapy and  equine assisted learning therapy program.  The camp director is certified in CPR and first aid and is present all the time at each camp. The camp ratio is kept at 2 students to 1 counselor. A lot of time is spent on the horseback riding to learn how to maneuver the horses through certain obstacle courses, which indirectly improves the core strength, gross and fine motor skills, learning patience and direction following in the physically and developmentally delayed children.

There are numerous other disability camps for the the developmentally delayed children. However, the cost feasibility, location, and activities organized, differ from camp to camp and depends on individual’s need, still an informed and effective decision must be made, while selecting the perfect camp for your special child.


  1. Good afternoon my name is Camilla McGhee and I searching for children with all types of disability need that I can observe online can you please inform me with that information where to go to observe a child with a disability need, I am doing a report in my early childhood study program.

    Thanks Camilla McGhee


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