Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I'm not sure how many of you out there know that I am a mother to a child with Autism. My 8 yr old son has Autism and recently has been experiencing some behavioural issues at his daycamp. It is a repeat of things that were going on with him last year at the beginning of the school year. He gets defiant when it comes to activities that do not include water (swimming, sprinkler park, etc) and he has been hitting his camp leaders on the arm. Mark has had a teacher's aide with him at school and at previous camps in summers past has had a support worker. This is the 1st year that he doesn't have a support worker with him at camp. He goes to the facility for his afterschool program and when I registered him for camp this summer, I specified that he would need a support worker with him. Needless to say, he didn't get one. There are 3 other children at this camp with Autism and in need of support and yet only 1 child is getting the support she needs, leaving Mark & the other 2 without.
In the past week, Mark has displayed behaviours that are not very becoming of a boy his age. He is getting aggressive with his group's leader, not listening to instructions and constantly running away from them. He displayed this behaviour last fall at school & was segregated to the Learning Centre until after the Christmas break. Now, he is repeating this behaviour and was sent home yesterday & today from camp. I talked to the camp's director and was given a "choice" I could let Mark have the support worker for a week straight in the month of August & not have him attend camp for the rest of the month OR he can continue with camp without the use of the support worker to assist him.
I put him in the camp because he wanted to go, he knew everyone at the Centre where it was being held and it gave him the opportunity to go places & see things he normally wouldn't get to do. I also work during the day, as does his father, so we can't spend the summer with him. Daycamp provided an answer for Mark this summer. But he is not enjoying himself, he is constantly being shuffled around to different groups when he gets out of hand, or being in "time out" for having actions that he can't control. He is stressing & doesn't know how to cope with whatever is bothering him.
Now, I have a decision to make.