Tips on finding camps for kids with special needs
By Allison Eatough
In the weeks before Makenzie Bailey started at Camp Airways, a day camp for children with asthma, questions began to fill her mother’s head.
Darlene Bailey wondered: Would her 8-year-old be able to swim? Would she need to take breaks? Who would help if she had one of her coughing spells?
She received answers to all of her questions — and more — during orientation a week before camp at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, where she and Makenzie met the nurses and respiratory therapists who staff the camp in Severna Park. After that, Bailey felt certain that Makenzie, who was diagnosed with asthma at age 1, would be safe and secure at camp.
“They were great,” the Glen Burnie resident says. “It made (Makenzie) feel real comfortable. … They’ve got quality people there if anything were to happen.”
Finding and selecting a camp for a child with special needs can be an overwhelming experience, parents say. Many wonder if camps can meet their child’s specific medical, physical, emotional or behavioral needs. And then there is the struggle of actually leaving a child with special needs for a day or even a week.
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