All children – not only those with special needs – need help with social skills. Our children are expected to navigate through so very much as they grow. For the born charmers and negotiators, it comes naturally. But, for most it is a skill that needs to be learned, nurtured and then fine tuned. Today, kids need to re-learn the art of communication. In the era of Face Book, they also need to re-learn how to foster authentic relationships. They need to learn how to communicate face-to-face NOT text-to-text or email-to-email. A college dean once told me that he had heard of students arguing with one another by text, while sitting on their beds in the same dorm room! Even some of my adult clients prefer email than having an initial telephone conversation so that I can best understand their needs in finding a summer program that would fit their childrens interests.Camp is the antidote for children with helicopter parents. The camp milieu is such that campers, teens included, learn to solve problems by themselves or with some assistance from counselors and peers, instead of seeking parental advice. They are empowered. They leave behind their electronic pacifiers and comforters. They take actual pen, or colored pencils and markers, to paper and write letters home. Where else do they address an envelope and seal it with a postage stamp? At most camps, kids are unplugged as there are no cell phones, or electronics.
Thank goodness for overnight camps!