By Moisés Barón, Ph.D.
For most families, summer is a time to unwind, take a break, travel and have fun. For many kids, summer is associated with laughter, playing, summer camp and “no homework”. Summer is one of those times in the year where we can all associate with the Joys of Childhood.
There are however many families for which summer means something different. Mental, emotional and behavioral disorders do not take a break. For many families with a child with special needs, summer time often poses a challenge. The structure and support services provided by school are not available, the choices to find summer programs that will provide an engaging and enriching environment for their child may be limited, and yet the need for services and treatment still persists.
We at the San Diego Center for Children understand these challenges and are committed to be responsive to the needs of the children and families we serve. During the summer, we continue providing a range of services:
- Our WASC accredited nonpublic K-12 school, the Academy, has an Extended School Year program through the month of July into early August. Close to 95 students from all over the County are currently benefiting from this program that provides personalized instruction in a small classroom setting by special education teachers.
- Our residential programs are implementing a number of summer activities to ensure that the youth under our care can experience the “Summer Joys of Childhood” while not in school. These activities include recreation, community engagement, culinary classes, beach days and more.
- Our new Family Wellness Center is expanding the range of services it provides by offering a number of summer sport and play camps for children with special needs led by our professional staff.
- And of course, our staff continues to serve the needs of more than 1,000 children and adults throughout the County, every day.
To learn more about how to access our services, please visit the new web page of our Family Wellness Center. You will find all the information needed to receive resources for your family or to share them with a family you know who is in need of support.
Let’s make sure that this summer brings a smile to every child in our community no matter what his needs or what her challenges may be.