4 ways that Discovery Camp empowers children with skin disorders - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

4 ways that Discovery Camp empowers children with skin disorders

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Many children who live with special needs never have the experience of attending a camp designed to work with their specific needs while offering novel adventures and meeting new friends. AAD's Camp Discovery offers all of this and more. Having a skin disorder may cause stares from others as well as compromise children's ability to communicate, but it should never prevent a child from having the experiences that other children take for granted. AAD's Camp Discovery is an opportunity for kids to get away from their sheltered environment, make new friends, and be around children who have their same diagnosis while learning new skills.

As I walked around the camp and saw children interacting with their camp counselors and friends, it was enlightening to see the joy and enthusiasm on their faces. This is a place where everyone experiences new adventures, new friends, and new opportunities each day. They also receive help dealing with the struggle of their disability by sharing the pain and emotional side of their disorder with others who can help them by listening and offering guidance.

There are 4 gifts each of these children took away from the camp.

Children learn to do things on their own, and while doing these parents learn to let go a little bit. When children are born with special needs parents have a sense of protecting them and holding on tighter. Camp is a chance to trust someone else and allow his or her child to become more independent.

AAD's Discovery Camp allows children to be with other children who share their disability. Programs are set up to match their needs, and this helps empower children and make them feel stronger in who they are.

New and novel experiences happen every day at camp, which helps the campers get out of their sheltered environment and think in a new way. This adds to children's self-esteem and a sense of well being.

The camp offers children a way to make deep, long lasting friendships. Most of the children in this camp were from outside of Texas. They met each year to support and spend time with one another. When one of the children was sick, their friends from the camp were very concerned, and sent care packages to them throughout the year.

This camp gives each child gifts they could never receive at home. The chance to be away from parents and independent while being cared for by professionals including physicians, which gives their parents peace of mind, and the children an opportunity to experience a "normal" life. Money cannot buy a healthy self-esteem, confidence or joy in a child's life, but AAD's Camp Discovery does it quite naturally.

– Mary Jo Rapini

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