The school year is coming to an end, and I hope my students continue to read at least once a day and stay active. Some of them I worry about. I worry about my students who require one-on-one attention or special accommodations.
As I spoke to a teacher about some of her students in wheel chairs and dependent on others to care for them, I wondered if they will continue to get the great attention received at school over the summer. Are they going to be read to? Are they going to have someone sing the ABCs with them or count to 30?
Are the students going to be able to interact with other children and adults over the summer? The teacher I spoke to hasn’t heard of a day care specifically for children with special needs.
This reminded me of four years ago when I used to work with an after school and we were not going to provide services for the children with special needs. My heart broke when I found out this news. I loved working with my students that took so much joy in the simple things in life. Those students loved going on walks and speaking about what they saw.
“Biiird!” yelled one of those students as she ran after the birds causing them to scatter and chirp. She loved going on walks for that moment.
She didn’t speak more than 10 words. She had Down syndrome, but I always knew how she was feeling or what she wanted and needed. She definitely expressed herself through her actions and grunts.
Her mother appreciated our services. It offered some time for herself after a busy day at work, which is understandable and extremely beneficial for her. She trusted us to care for her daughter as she could have and should have.
She cried and other parents cried when we told them we weren’t going to provide services anymore. What were they going to do now? Who was going to watch their children? Could they afford it? Could they trust other caregivers?
The worries filled their thoughts and my heart sank.
Now as my students and I are preparing for summer break, I can’t help but hope they have someone to read and discuss stories with them, ask questions, laugh with them and just enjoy learning with them.
I trust most of my students will be active during the summer, but some I worry for many various reasons. Fortunately, I came across Peaceable Kingdom Retreat in Killeen that is sponsored by a few other organizations within the community and assist with fun activities for children with special needs.
One of the organizations they work with, Children’s Special Needs Network, offers more information concerning specific details about what organizations or summer programs your child can be a part of.
“They are gold mine for camps,” Samantha, from Peaceable Kingdom Retreat told me.
I checked out the CSNN website and I didn’t see much about summer opportunities. However, their contact information was online so I called and they were so helpful. They know of all the camps for children with special needs that are offered throughout Texas
Unfortunately, CSNN only knows of one place in Killeen that offers childcare for children with special needs and that is Education Connection. Central Texas Children’s Center in Temple also offers day care for children with special needs.
That is not a lot of help within our community, so I was wondering what do our parents within our community do during the summer with their children that have special needs. Do they take off from work to take care of their child? Do they hire a baby-sitter or does a family member help out? Let me know by leaving a comment below.