The Cat Is Out Of The Bag

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 4sumrzn, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member it ever!!!!!! Someone accidentally mentioned the word "camp" in front of difficult child yesterday. She is suppose to start a special needs camp Monday & this person wanted to know about it. difficult child heard the question & went into "freak-out" mode. She even woke up at 4am this morning to tell me "I don't want to go to camp today". She has been non-stop this morning.....that's all she is rambling on & on about. "I don't want to go swimming", "Mommy go to camp too", "take my baby in camp", "you pick me up?", " #### be there too?".

    Any suggestions on what I can do? We have tried that past two summers to give her a chance to attend camp. We want her to socialize outside of school with other children doing camp activities. First year.....very rough. She cried for me EVERY day when I dropped her of & cried as soon as she saw me to pick her up like she hadn't seen me in weeks. She made it quite a few weeks. They started having major problems with her & basically kicked her out!

    Last summer I tried the YMCA camp. Same thing.....cried for me, drop off & pick up...even during the day some. She became attached to a counselor that agreed to "help" difficult child relax & try to have fun. difficult child started to make sure that person was there in the morning or would get VERY upset until she got there & then would still cry for me when I dropped her off....but would go with this person. This counselor went on vacation 3 weeks before camp was over. difficult child was a mess the whole week she was gone (worse than normal) & camp called me to get her a few times. The counselor came back the next week & difficult child didn't want to have anything to do with her....even became defiant to her. difficult child was kicked out the next day :(

    This summer, difficult child is old enough for a local special needs camp. She attended a one week special needs camp last year & I think she felt like she "fit in" better & had some fun. She still did the crying for me at drop off & pick up. But, the counselors said she was fine during the whole issues.

    I'm just not sure what to tell her anymore because I don't think it matters. I think it's just running through her head non-stop "no camp-no camp-no camp". I just had to put on my headphones.....she is STILL rambling about the whole thing.

    Guess I'm rambling too....sorry. Just feel bad for her. I know she would rather stay home, but I think she could actually have fun.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    What's being done to help her with her anxiety? Is she on medications? Are you using strategies to prepare her such as written or picture schedules and routines, social stories, etc? Can she go ahead of time when it's not so chaotic and meet her counselor? Have you created ways to empower her such as given her a cell phone to have along or a "ticket to go home" to give the counselor when she's overwhelmed?

    My difficult child had serious anxiety problems and sometimes I think you can do more damage than good by pushing them before they are ready or they are supported. Just doing the same thing with them being traumatized and drop off and pick up usually doesn't help make forward progress.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I don't know if this would work, but what if you mentioned that it is "big girl" camp? Or won't that matter to her?

    I like the idea of meeting the counselors first. I wonder if they would allow you to stay for awhile the first day or so until she is accustomed? (or would that make it even worse?)

    Trying to brainstorm...
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Check in time is so chaotic. Lines to check in, kids looking for their counselors, counselors trying to keep kids busy until everyone is there. I wonder if it would work to take her later in the day - once everyone else has settled into their routine, the schedule of events have actually started and she can see the calm/fun instead of the chaotic excitement? You can help her join in on whatever the kids are doing.

    Also, since it is a special camp that better fits her, I think staff will be better trained in how to deal with her missing mom.