Summer Tech Camps for Special Needs Students

With only a few days left until my school officially closes its’ doors until the next school year, much of the buzz has been about what the students will be doing for the summer.  Some students will be traveling while others will be spending time with family, or relaxing at home, but most of my students will be attending various summer camps.  Some of the camps are local day camps for sports, dance, or outdoor activities, while others are “sleepaway” camps in other parts of Florida or around the country.

This got me to start thinking about the different opportunities available for students with special needs to attend camps – specifically technology camps.  I was pleased to see that most of the camps, some of which I am familiar with from previous experience, provide the support or accommodations for students with special needs to attend and prosper in their camps.  Below is an annotated list of tech camps for students with special needs.

iD Tech Camps

iD Tech Camps provide both overnight and day camps for children ages 7-18.  These camps are located around the country at major universities.  The focus of the camp days include technology gaming, programming, photography & editing, 3d animation, robotics, and film production & editing.  In addition to the focus on technology, students also engage in other social activities like playing video games and sports activities.  They have instructors who are trained to assist with special needs students.  They allow aides to accompany special needs children who need assistance.  However, the special needs students who have been most successful at this summer camp in the past were students who were able to function independently during school.  They suggest calling them first to speak with the Client Services department for any arrangements that may need to be made before camp begins.

Digital Media Academy

The Digital Media Academy is located at various top-notch colleges around the country.  They offer tech camps for both kids and teens from ages 6-18.  They offer day camps and also extended “sleepaway” camp.  They offer courses in filmmaking, game design, programming, digital photography, and robotics.  For younger kids, they also offer tech camp combined with sporting activities.  They provide a low teacher-to-student ratio.  They serve special needs students and provide additional instruction to students as needed.  All of their teachers are adults, not teenagers.  There is always someone on staff who is trained to work with students with special needs.  This camp fosters parental involvement and encourages parents to see their child’s progress throughout the camp.

Think Big Camps

The Think Big Camps offers computer camps located in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington.  They offer courses in game design, animation, and digital media.  They have day camps, extended day camps, and overnight camps.  The age ranges for this camp are from 7-17.  Besides the ‘Tech Zones’, they also offer students sports and team building exercises.  They will make adjustments to the curriculum or activities for special needs students.  They ask that the parents discuss the special needs of the students before the camp begins to ensure that they can best serve the student.

-Article by Laura Ketcham

-Picture by edenpictures

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