Tuesday, May 28, 2013

first day of summer camp!

We dropped Dominic off to the YMCA daycamp with the below note this morning:

Things that The Y Camp counselors need to know about Dominic.
-  Dominic has an Autism diagnosis, but his primary area of trouble is speech. He’s leaps and bounds from where he was when he came to camp last summer, but is still mostly non-conversational.  He CAN give you 3-4 word sentences, and if it doesn’t impact your other kids, we’d encourage you to make him do all requests in at least 3 word sentences.  (even if you have to prompt a couple of the words)
~ While he does not have a lot of the behavior issues associated with Autism you may see some self stimulatory behaviors (growling and happy squeals are the current ones) and some self injurious behaviors (these are almost gone, but you might see him hit his own hand or bite his arm).  Unless another child is actually being impacted, the absolute best way to handle any Stim’s or SIB’s is to give them zero attention. You can redirect him, or you can simply ignore it.  He’s doing it in a large part to get attention.  If another child is being impacted, you need to redirect Dominic by giving him another activity (“Hey Dominic come here” or “Hey Dominic go climb that slide”)
~ Dominic is allergic to Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Peanuts and a variety of legumes.  You are NOT to allow him to eat anything that we did not send from home. In his lunch box, you’ll find snacks (2) in the front zipper pouch, and a large lunch in the main pouch. It is iced and will be fine without refrigeration, and does not need to be heated up.   Please let us know when we pick him up if Dominic gets ahold of food he cannot have, so we can give him something to counteract the allergic reaction (its not anaphylactic, but he will have major hyperactivity and stimming)
~ Dominic has not had elopement (running off) issues at all this school year so we do not anticipate a problem this summer, but should he elope, please note that officially chasing him will make it a game, and try instead to get his attention by calling his name.  In a field trip setting, have an adult fairly nearby (eg close enough to grab rather quickly) when you are not in an easily contained area.
~ Regarding Swimming:   Dominic loves the water and will probably BEG to go swimming as soon as he realizes it’s a regular part of the program.   We’ve paid for the 2 aquatics weeks, so any chance you have to throw him in (and work on his swimming, which is rudimentary) would be great.    
~ Fine Motor – he can write his name somewhat, and we appreciate any opportunity you give him to practice that skill over the summer.  We’re also practicing staying within the lines while coloring (which he’s having a very hard time) and he LOVES to paint.
~  Dominic will need some support from counselors for the following:
- If questions are being asked (eg, in a group introduction time) – he’ll need some
prompting to say things.  He should be able to answer his name, and age (he’s 8)
but could need some prompting
- For gross motor stuff (structured outside play), he’ll catch on quick, but will need some patience.

He’s really excited about camp this year.  He spent 1 week here last summer to test the waters before we put him in for an entire summer, and when we came back to register for this year he got very happy and ran for the playground right away.   We expect that he’ll have a fantastic summer.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any issues and/or if you need some coping tips for any behaviors he might exhibit.

(for reference, and to see how far we've come since last July - here's the similar instruction i sent in last July)


When I picked him up tonight, they told me he had a fantastic day, made a couple of friends, swam a ton. I even had a little back and forth conversation with him that went like this:
Hi Dominic
Did you have fun today?
What did you do today?
Go swimming

Then we were paying for the next camp at the cashier and the director of the Y stopped to tell me a funny story.  Apparently they were playing Tag, and Dominic would go hang out at the top of the hill, wait til no one was watching him, then run down and tag everyone really fast.  And all the other kids were like "um, we thought he wasn't playing".  That to me is just hysterical. 

Got him home, he's clearly exhausted. He was not happy that i made him do a worksheet for homework (as per our SPED's request) We made the decision that on weeknights, after camp, we would not be turning the TV on and he was SO mad at me.  He cried. he pleaded, he brought me the remote and said "push the button".  And i didn't. and now he's happily playing in the bathtub.  Am guessing we'll get a few days where he's really tired and then, like last year, he'll get used to the day of massive physical activity and won't be tired anymore.

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