Henry is taking his first ever summer camp program! It’s called “Sunkids” and its 3 hours long daily. The program is located in Pasadena, CA!
“Sunkids is a therapeutic summer program run by occupational, physical, and speech therapists as well as trained volunteers. Planned events and activities include water play, music, pet day, crafts, walking field trips, as well as gross motor and sensory motor play. These activities are used to facilitate gross and fine motor skills, social interaction, and play in a safe and fun environment.” — Center for Developing Kids.
We are so excited!
Ready, set, go! The first activity is a dance and music circle. It’s huge (there are a lot of volunteers and kiddos singing and clapping). Henry doesn’t like this at all. It’s too much stimulation, too loud, and seems scary. Bigger kids are in the circle getting their sillies out. Henry has no sillies. He usually doesn’t get silly in public.
We sit on the side and watch. His O.T. asks if Henry wants to participate. I say no, and explain it’s too much for Henry. I can’t get him to do this at parties either. She explains that it is a good activity to start the sessions — as parents are signing in their kids, and arriving. (People run late so its a flexible activity). I totally get it. I tell Brenda that as well. I go on to explain that I used to do the same kind of thing when I started and ran a children’s exercise program called “Fit Kidz”. We would have the kiddos run a fun obstacle course to energizing music until everyone arrived. Then we would “officially” begin the class, and continue with more structured activity. I see some parents having a hard time with their kiddos as well. They seem stressed. They seem to take it out on Brenda and the other workers. It’s good to remember that the FIRST day of anything can be tough on everyone. It’s best not to give the hard working, passionate staff a hard time. They are trying… they care so much, and have worked so hard.
Brenda tells me that they will end with this activity too. If I want to bring Henry a few minutes late (so he misses the dance circle) that may be a good idea! She wants him to get used to the routine, but also have a great experience.
There are so many fun activities planned! Henry is in the green group! He has all of his supplies and there are a lot of kids! The dance circle is over. One child with more severe ASD runs for the door and takes off….his mom runs after him (she is wearing 3 inch heals and a dress); She catches him. Whew.
Henry goes in with Brenda, and he is a little scared. I feel so weird as I walk away.
…even a bit shaky.
I drive off and run some errands, and then get back in time to park, and walk to the building to retrieve my son.
I see the big dance circle going on. I don’t see Henry. I look off to the side to see if he is seated on the outer parts. No Henry. I see Brenda! “Where’s Henry?” I say. Brenda replies, “He’s in the circle.”
There he is — face down lying on the floor in the exact center of the dance circle. It’s almost insanely funny.
It was a great first day!