So we decided to enroll Mateo in a Summer Camp, it was reasonably priced and I only had to enroll the kids in one week at a time. Another HUGE selling point was that Maya was in the same age group and could be put together with him.
It says that it is an active camp that is based on staying healthy and keeping active. I really had low expectations for the cheap cost. I imagined the kids just playing some kick ball at the park and that’s about it.
It started the week right after school and Mateo was adamant that he DID NOT WANT TO GO! I was prepping him the week before, like I do with any new activity we add to his routine. He kept telling me that he did not want to go and the morning of he seemed a little upset about it. So I was very worried when driving him over there.
On the online form I had mentioned that Mateo has high-functioning Autism and may need some extra direction, and that he would definitely need to be with his sister. Once we arrived he looked nervous. We approached his Team Leader who was assigned to them for the week and made introductions. He told Maya and Mateo that they could go join the other kids playing freeze tag or just hang out with him. Maya ran off and Mateo stood by. I was nervous to leave. I let his Team Leader know that Mateo has Autism and if he has a hard time to just call us. His Team Leader looked slightly concerned but quickly said not to worry that they were going to have lots of fun.
So we decided to leave him there and see what happened. And like usual, I was a nervous wreck at work as I waited to hear how it went. The Summer Camp is only from 8-12:30pm so I was hoping he would be ok for the short time.
To our amazement he LOVED it!! He had a great time the whole week. They did not spend the week playing Freeze tag and kick ball. They actually learned Karate, did KettleBells, Fencing and more! I was more than impressed.
Today they did the Hunger Games and Maya said Mateo did amazing and so did the volunteers. They all gave him high-fives and told me how great he did. I excitedly signed them up for a couple more weeks!
I have a theory on why I think Mateo liked it so much. Not only are the activities great for him and his Sensory Processing Disorder, but this was the first time I sent Mateo somewhere without an Aide or anyone there to keep an eye on him. He got to be independent and play with kids his age and older who don’t know of his diagnosis or treat him differently. I know how important it is for him to just feel like every other kid his age. And I think it’s time we start letting him make more of these decisions and giving him more independence because he obviously can handle it.