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Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative

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Volume 12, No. 2, Spring 2004

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Parents Must Plan Summer Activities Early

Beth Casper, PACER Center, Inc.

It may be hard to plan summer activities while snow flurries grace the view from the living room window, but finding the camp or program that is a good fit for a child with disabilities takes time. Parents who start the process early are more likely to find the appropriate accommodations and a better fit for their child.

“Last May, PACER received phone calls from panicked parents looking for opportunities for their children with disabilities for the summer when most programs are already full,” said PACER advocate Beth-Ann Bloom.

“PACER staff caution, however, that parents should think seriously about the kinds of camps and programs that would interest their child. There are specialized services and programs for children with disabilities, but most community programs can also accommodate a person with a disability as long as planning occurs. Here are initial questions to ask:

In addition to participation in recreation and leisure activities, an interest in spectator sports such as tennis, golf, baseball, or football may provide enjoyment for a child with disabilities. He or she may learn the language and rules of the sport and continue to find enjoyment of the sport as an adult.

When trying out new programs, call a supervisor, coach, or manager and discuss the child’s disability and possible accommodations.

Where to look

How to help

Parents can develop a list of recreation and leisure activities in which the child would probably have a positive experience. The child may be eager to pursue a particular interest or try many different activities. The important thing is that the child is building confidence, developing social skills, and having fun. Parents can help their child reach this goal by:

Reprinted with permission from the Winter 2004 PACESETTER (Vol. 27, Issue 1), published by PACER Center, Inc. For more information, contact PACER at (952) 838-900 or visit

Note: DATI is currently updating its list of recreational opportunities in the Delaware area. Once completed, the information will be available on Please check the Website for this information.
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