Friday, July 03, 2009

the long, quiet days of summer

This has been a really nice, quiet week -- punctuated in the middle with a beautiful Canada Day holiday.

We had hoped to enroll Jonathan in the same program he went to last July, a Summer School offered by the public and Catholic school boards. But we found out less than two weeks ago that the program is now restricted to children in Grade Six and above, so Jonathan would not be able to go.

We decided to contact Extend-a-Family, a local organization we've had some involvement with, which offers summer day camps (as well as year-round activities) for special needs children and adults and their families. Although applications are supposed to be in by the end of May, they still had a couple of openings for three of their camp weeks, so we booked Jonathan for this week, next week, and the last week of July. The camp is held at St. Lawrence College (about a 5-min drive from here) and they do lots of out-trips to the park, swimming pool, beach, etc.

Jonathan has been having a great time at camp! There are about a half-dozen kids in his little group and they have a classroom set up with toys, books, and puzzles (Jonathan is right into puzzles now so that was a great way to get him to settle the first day). He went swimming in a pool for the first time on Tuesday; and yesterday, in keeping with this week's medieval theme, they had a princess come to visit their class -- Cinderella, I believe it was.

So where do the "long, quiet days" come in? Well, that's what we're experiencing here at home. Jonathan is gone from 9-4 and there's no lunch break at home like during the school year, so it's very peaceful. Today Allison and I dropped him off, went to the library and then did a little shopping, and we've just been spending the rest of the day at home. I enjoy the quiet, and it's great knowing that Jonathan is having fun and that there is some structure and sociability to his day. And when 4:00 approaches I can't wait to go and pick him up and find out how he got along.

Next week Allison will also go to a camp offered by Quintilian School, a local private school that offers summer camps; many of their students and campers are children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and there are several girls around Allison's age going next week so it will be a great opportunity for her.

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