Anybody out there have any ideas on how to go about this with a non-ambulatory boy? They're not scheduled to go until this spring so we have some time to think about it. Brady's been to MDA camp six years now, but this is a little bit different & the school has never had to deal with a wheelchair before I don't think.
Any suggestions from those who've been there are very much appreciated!
Thanks!

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Hello Patty,

I don't believe I am familiar with this type of camp. Despite that, if this is a school function they certainly must make accommodations for non-ambulatory children as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act even if it takes place off the school campus. If it is overnight or there are other activities requiring him to get out of his chair such as swimming and using the bathroom and Brady needs assistance there must be arrangements made for this in advance. You must also decide whether or not this is appropriate for Brady as it might be a lot of work/hassles for you/him to get them up to speed on his needs and modifications and you have to think of what he is willing to do. Regardless, if he wants to go and you are comfortable with it, I think boys with DMD should have the same opportunities as their able bodied peers.

Best of luck with this.

Brian
My non- DMD son went to a school sponsored camp last year. There was a boy with cerebal palsey in a wheelchair that went also. Parents serve as counselors and his dad went as his personal counselor. He helped him participate fully. They stayed in the same cabin with the other boys in his class and their 2 counselors (dads). The boy was able to get around the camp in his power chair. The dad drove them both to camp in case they needed to leave early but they stayed the whole 4 days. Other parents helped by carrying his son's backpack on hikes, watching him or helping move him. The dad even hiked up and down a mountain with the boy. Several dads made a chain and passed the boy along on the tougher parts. Kids and adults alike were patient and helped if needed. The boy has been treated like a jewel since he was in first grade and the kids have always been wonderful. I was also a counselor at camp and took mental notes so when my husband takes my DMD son in a few years I would be able to tell him what to expect. There is always a medical person (a nurse or paramdiec parent that volunteers) at camp and there were many other kids with medical issues or that took meds. This was not seen as an obstacle by our school just an opportunity for this child that took more planning. I think it would be a great experience for Brady to go. Talk to his teacher, school nurse, counselor, administrators and parents from last year to help you figure out how to make it work. I spoke with our school nurse and she suggested having your nurse or someone else call the camp and let them know what accomodations need to be made. It was not an issue at all for this boy to go to camp. This is a big deal for the kids and they bond at camp. It might be tough to work it all out, but it will be worth it!

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