My name is Jessica and I’m the mom of three amazing boys, two of which have Autism, Tourette’s Syndrome, OCD, ADHD and Mood Disorder NOS (not otherwise specified). Despite of all the challenges I can honestly stay that I am blessed. My time is divided between running to the psychiatrist, therapy appointments, meetings with Department of Mental Health, dodging tantrums, playing referee, whatever appointments I have for myself, on top of working full time 11p-7am.
A few years ago I was blessed to find an amazing camp for my oldest son. A place that helps to enable success, build social skills, teach coping mechanisms and help children who have difficulty finding success in traditional settings. They provide a 1:1 staff to camper ratio @ all times. They are a year round support and advocate for children and their families and they have been absolutely amazing for my family.
Now that my youngest is old enough he has wanted nothing more than to be able to go. This is the one place where they can be themselves, a place to make friendships in a world where for them is so hard. This is consistency for my oldest & he looks forward every year to going and can go up until age 21.
I had tried to mainstream my oldest at the start of freshman year but that had resulted in disaster. He was followed out of the lunchroom by two bullies and beaten in the hallway. He had no friends! Not one student walking by broke up this altercation. He was being bullied at school and it broke my heart to watch. When this fight was finally broken up his head was split open & he had to be transported by ambulance to the hospital ER for staples in his head. This prompted me to start my Facebook page “Confessions From an Imperfect Family“.
I started this page so people could follow us. Because no family is perfect. And because I wanted to share our experiences with others, to let others know that they are not alone in the journey called life. I post articles I think are important and I also write about our day. Please, look us up.
This camp that he goes to, he is allowed to keep in touch with the friends that he has made. He gets to see them every year that he goes and even sees new faces. They will be around kids like them, that thay can relate too. This camp has done wonders for my oldest. I want this experience for my youngest, now 11, whom I feel is now old enough to begin to start enjoying the camp experience, he talks of nothing else. Like my oldest he has no friends.
The only drawback is that it is expensive. I have tried the school system for funds and I was turned away. Department of Mental Health has had budget cuts. My youngest has DDS service and they do not fund for camp. At this point I’m not sure where else to turn. The camp will help with some funds but they service so many families that they can only do so much. I have both my oldest and youngest signed up. It would mean the world if they could both go. Whatever I can raise will be split between them both. One has a tuition of $5,000 and the oldest has a tuition of $2,500. If I can come up with 1/2 of that, it that would help my family so much.
I am reaching out to anyone for help. My kids would like to get to Camp Starfish.