Holiday Programs for Children with Special Needs

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If you have a child with special needs, chances are you feel a little apprehensive about sending them along to school holiday programs. While you need to assess your child’s individual needs, most holiday programs are equipped to welcome your child into their program.

With a little planning, you can ensure your child is able to attend a holiday program full of fun and exciting activities.

Here are some things you might like to consider:

Enrol early

If your child has a learning, behaviourial or diagnosed additional needs, additional funding may be available to the holiday program to allow them to employ an extra staff member. This funding requires paperwork to be submitted and can take four weeks to process. Make sure you enrol your child early so this process can get underway before the holiday period. begins.

Check the inclusion policy

Holiday programs should have inclusive practices that are explained in their policy documents. As a parent you are entitled to view these policies and see how they fit with your personal beliefs (check the holiday program website or information booklet).

You’ll want to attend a holiday program that works collaboratively with families and professionals to develop inclusions plans based on your child’s needs and interests. You’ll also want to ensure there are provisions for any individual adaptive equipment which may be required, along with specific behaviour guidance plans, individual routines, support and program strategies and potentially additional training for educators working directly with your child.

What’s on the program?

As per the holiday program’s inclusion policy, no child should be left out of the planned activities. All children, regardless of ability, should have the genuine ability to participate in the program at all times. You’ll want to ensure that the holiday program will do this rather than having alternatives or separate experiences planned for your child which can make them feel excluded.

Talk to the service provider

It’s important that you discuss your child’s individual needs with the holiday program provider prior to the school holidays. Communication and cooperation are key in ensuring the school holiday period is fun, and not an added stress for you or your child.

With a little planning and communication, school holidays programs can be an engaging and fun time for all children. Talk to your holiday program provider today about how they can provide care for your child.

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