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Summer camp for kids with learning differences

  • Written by Jen Fukutaki, Hamlin Robinson staff

It’s that time of year — parents are looking at summer camp opportunities for their kids. While those purely fun, creative and exciting summer experiences are certainly on the docket, many parents will also be searching for educational options — perhaps for a child who needs extra help due to learning differences such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, auditory processing disorders and others.  

According to the LDA (Learning Disabilities Association of America), “a learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge. However, with appropriate support and intervention, people with learning disabilities can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships and in the community.”  

For many kids, this long-term success is aided by summer programs that bridge the gap between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next and that teach learning techniques specific to a learning difference.  

What should parents look for when their child needs a more tailored approach to their educational summer learning experience?  

According to Jessica Ruger, counselor and director of admissions for Hamlin Robinson School, parents should look for subject area and learning difference expertise with highly trained professional instructors who understand and love working with kids.

At Hamlin Robinson School, for example, students who are dyslexic or have other language-based learning differences receive a full curriculum of instruction tailored to their needs during the regular school year. It makes sense that during the summer, the school offers 4-week summer classes for students in the greater Puget Sound area who may need extra support in reading, writing and/or oral language. Other schools and tutoring centers offer summer educational experiences built upon their areas of specialty.

According to Ruger, “Students are happiest when they feel successful. Students enjoy programs when they understand the instruction and gain confidence in their ability to learn.  

“Ultimately, parents should look for summer educational programs where the needs of their child are understood and met and where they can gain valuable skills to take forward into the classroom in the fall. Parents should do research. Find the opportunities that best fit the needs of the child and that offer a safe, nurturing and engaging environment.” 

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