2017 Kansas City Summer Camps: Special Needs Camps

Posted February 22, 2017 10:25pm by Jane

Special needs kids and families need special places to have fun summer experiences. Sometimes, the right environment can be hard to find. We’ve pulled together a list of camps that fit a range of special needs. Make sure to let us know if you know of other special needs camps to add to this list.

Sponsored Listings:

Camp Kidz Rock! (Overland Park, KS) is sponsored by Successful Sounds
“A Neurologic Music Therapy Based Approach to Teaching the Autistic Child,” and offers a FUN, unique & memorable summer day camp experience through singing, dancing, playing music, outdoor activities, exploration, exercise, games, crafts, field trips, swimming & more! Designed specifically for kids ages 4-10 with high-functioning Autism, Aspergers & ADD/ADHD who present cognitive and verbal communication skills. (Additionally, private social skills groups & music therapy sessions are available for all ASD children ages 2-8). For more info, check us out at www.SuccessfulSounds.com!


Basic Listings:

  • Autism Works (Liberty, MO) Offering YEAR-ROUND support for families! Social Clubs are for children ages 5 and up and meet twice a month focusing on creating a fun environment to learn social skills. *Parent Support group is for parents/caregivers of children on the spectrum. *They also offer workshops and plenty of resources.
  • Blue Valley Recreation (Overland Park, KS) – Blue Valley Rec offers many adapted and integrated leisure activities designed for individuals with disabilities. Includes swim lessons, bowling, dancing, cooking, open swim, open gym, a walking club, T-ball, softball, golf and bocce ball. Single day events include miniature golf, gardening, karaoke and much more!
  • Boy Scouts Rotary Youth Camp (Lee’s Summit, MO) offers long-term camping experience to Boy Scouts with special needs.
  • Brain Balance of Overland Park (OP, KS) – Get a Jumpstart for the Next School Year. The Brain Balance Program can improve your child’s social, academic and behavioral abilities.
  • Camp Barnabas (Purdy, MO – southwest Missouri) is a residential camp which focuses on people with all types of disabilities. Campers can be anywhere from 7 to 35, depending on their disability. Each session is directed to specific needs: developmental disabled, physically disabled, autistic/Asperger’s, blind/visually impaired, deaf/hearing impaired, amputees, chronic illnesses and others. Siblings are also welcome and have their own programming.
  • Camp Carousel offers fun, recreational activities and structured, creative opportunities to foster sharing and healing. The retreat features small group settings with trained professional staff and volunteers, with opportunities for families to spend quality time together. It is held by Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care and is open to the community.
  • Camp Encourage encourages social growth, independence, and self-esteem in youth with autism spectrum disorders through a quality, overnight camp experience located at the Tall Oaks Conference Center in nearby Linwood, KS.
  • Camp Erin is a two day overnight camp for kids ages 6 to 17 who are grieving the death of someone close to them. Staffed by certified grief counselors and hosted by Kansas City Hospice, this camp is free and early application is recommended.
  • Camp Hickory Hill (Columbia, MO) is a summer camp for children with diabetes. They offer a supportive medically supervised environment where children with type 1 diabetes, ages 8-17 have an opportunity to discover kindred spirits, build self-confidence, learn about managing their diabetes more independently and have a whole lot of fun.
  • Camp MITIOG (Excelsior Springs, MO) is a camp for young people with spina bifida. All of the traditional camping activities are offered, with a one to one camper/counselor ratio and medical staff on-site.
  • Camp Planet D – Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) is an overnight camp for kids with diabetes, ages 7 to 14. Newly diagnosed and first time attendees receive priority admission.
  • Camp Quality is an overnight camp for children with cancer, ages 3-17.  Every child has an assigned adult “companion” and an on-site oncology specialist is available for every camper.
  • Camp Wilderness (Lawson, MO) accepts children with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Ages 7 to 17 welcome.
  • Cheley / Children’s Hospital Burn Camp (Estes Park, CO) hosts children ages 8 to 18 who have been hospitalized in burn units across the country for a very traditional camp experience with specially trained staff.
  • Children’s Therapy Group (Overland Park, KS) is a multi-disciplinary clinic specializing in sensory integration therapy. In the past, they offered fine motor enhancement classes, a handwriting class, fun with language for kids with problems with social, pragmatic and expressive language, sensory motor group and more.
  • Children’s Therapy Services Summer Camp (Leawood, KS) offers a variety of summer camps and individual therapies for children with special needs.  Camps include Social Language Preschool & Elementary Groups, Outdoor Preschool Playgroups, Speech Articulation, Kindergarten readiness and more.  All camp curriculum are written by licensed speech pathologists or certified teachers.
  • CLO’s Midnight Farm Day Camp (Baldwin City, KS) Midnight Farm will hold two day camps for children and adults with special needs. Activities include crafts, singing, animal interactions and more. Horseback riding will be available for an additional fee.
  • Life Unlimited (North Kansas City, MO) hosts recreational sports, youth day camp and vocational day camp for young people with developmental disabilities. Campers must be Clay County residents (due to funding issues).
  • Express Yourself Camp (Bonner Springs, KS) To help children ages 6-14 deal with the unique feelings following a loss or life change, the YMCA of Greater Kansas City and St. Luke’s Home Health and Hospice are offering a special day camp at Camp Naish. Small group activities will include music therapy, a multi-media project, physical activities, arts and crafts, skits and a closing ceremony. Campers will learn different ways to express their feelings of loss and to remember a loved one or a life change in a celebratory way.
  • Heartland Therapeutic Riding Horsemanship Camp (Bucyrus, KS) Offers a one-week, inclusive horsemanship camp for 8-16 year olds with or without special needs.  PATH Intl-certfied instructors and small camper/staff ratio ensure a safe, fun experience for all.  Each day includes a riding lesson, horsemanship skills, crafts and lots of hands-on horse time.
  • Horizon Academy (Roeland Park, KS) offers summer classes for kids (in grades 1-12) who are struggling with basic skills due to learning disabilities. Includes reading instruction using the Orton-Gillingham approach and math using the Math-U-See approach. Students also have classes in PE, music and art and take weekly trips to the Fairway pool.
  • Horsin’ Around at Midnight Farm is a horsemanship day camp for children ages 6-16 with or without special needs. Campers will learn riding skills, general horse knowledge and ground skills to help them become well-rounded riders. Camp will also include horse-themed crafts, games, pony parade and a horse show on the last day.
  • Joshua Center Summer Camp (Kansas City, MO) is available to children with neurologically impaired children, including those diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder or ADHD.
  • KidsTLC has offered social skills camps in the past for children with Asperger’s Syndrome, high-functioning autism and related social challenges. Check their website for more information on summer programming.
  • Life Unlimited (North Kansas City, MO) hosts recreational sports, youth day camp and vocational day camp for young people with developmental disabilities. Campers must be Clay County residents (due to funding issues).
  • Midwest Brachial Plexus Network, Inc. and Rotary Youth Organization (Lee’s Summit, MO) offer a three day overnight camp for children with brachial plexus birth injuries.
  • Missouri Children’s Burn Camp (Lake of the Ozarks, MO) is held at Camp Sabra, a residential camp. This is a program for children ages 6 to 17 with burn injuries and offers traditional camp activities. There is no charge for the camp.
  • Muscular Dystrophy Camp is a one-week residential camp for anyone ages 6 to 21 with a neuromuscular disease. Contact the local MDA office for details – 913-859-0632
  • Camp Kidz Rock sponsored by Successful Sounds (Overland Park, KS) – for vocal children ages 4-10 with immature or delayed social and play skills, Asperger’s, High-Functioning Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Sensory Integration Dysfunction and related play/social delays.
  • Sugar Creek Equinapy (Harrisonville, MO) offers summer therapeutic riding programs for special needs children.
  • Wonderland Camp (Lake of the Ozarks) is a residential camp for children with developmental and physical challenges. All of the traditional camp activities are offered. There are also special weeks for children with Prader Willi Syndrome and brain injuries. Plus a wheelchair accessible treehouse!
  • YMCA (20 locations in the metro) offers camps for 5-11 year olds and run June – early August.  Bonus:  before and after-camp care is available, as is financial assistance.

Please feel free to let us know about any other great camps out there for Kansas City kids with special needs!

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