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Winter 2010 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

By Isela Wilson, Parent, Rancho Viejo, TX

Abstract: A mom describes the first time she sends her son with multiple disabilities to an overnight camp. Getting past her anxieties gave her son the opportunity to participate in activities that gave him enjoyment.

Keywords: multiple disabilities, visually impaired, cortical visual impairment, cerebral palsy, life skills, camp.

For those of you thinking about sending your children to TSBVI summer life skills camp and are worried sick that your child will not last the whole week, let me relate our story.

Our son Andrew, now 16 years old, went to camp for the first time ever this past summer. Andrew has Cerebral Palsy and Cortical Visual Impairment. He has a G-Tube, uses a wheelchair, and is nonverbal and totally dependent.

We were nervous wrecks to say the least. The day finally came when we had to leave him. We thought he would be sad; he wasn’t. We thought he would miss us; he didn’t. We thought he would not be taken care of; he was!

Everyone at TSBVI is very professional and well trained on how to handle kids not only with visual impairments but also with multiple disabilities.

Their enthusiasm and compassion are visible as soon as you meet them.

Andrew went swimming, on a train ride, and probably his favorite was riding a go cart. He had the time of his life. He learned socialization skills that we could have never taught him. We learned to let go and let others enjoy our son. When we picked him up he was actually upset that we were taking him away from all the fun. When we asked if he would like to go back he shook his head for yes nonstop for about a minute.

So if you are considering sending your son or daughter to life skills camp next year consider this; if your child were a typical kid would you keep him or her from enjoying a camp experience?

I am a parent life skills camp survivor and proud of it!