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Space Camp and emotional/social skills

Ok. My step son is physically 11, mentally 9 and has the social skills of a 6 year old. He has not been diagnosed with any condition except emotionally delayment and has been in a special needs school for three years. Next fall he will be integrated into the regular school in the special ed classes.
Here is the thing: he is obsessed with become an astronaut and blowing up rockets. I think sending him to space camp will give him a good idea of what is involved as he has had only movies to go on. He hates to read & doesn't like math. The problem is that we cannot afford to stay in a nearby hotel for the 6 days in case of a problem & his lack of appropriate social skills have caused problems before. I think that space camp would be good for him, but I don't want him or anyone else to get hurt. If we are doing this we have to start saving now for summer. So what do you think? Delay this a year? or send him?

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elizabooks

Asked by elizabooks at 11:45 PM on Nov. 2, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 15 (1,946 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • I don't know what's involved in space camp, I've never looked into it but I know that I would not send my 12 year old son who is mentally and socially on a 2nd-4th grade level away to a typical camp. What age kids is this camp for? If it's for young kids, then your child probably wouldn't qualify. If it's for older kids, there is a very good likelihood that he would get teased and that type of experience would probably turn him off of space forever.
    Have you talked to him about what it takes to become an astronaut? That they generally have to have really good math skills and be at the top of their class? I'm not saying destroy his dreams, but you might want to steer him towards a life goal that is more realistic.
    In the meantime, foster his love of space - build and set off rockets together. Water rockets, pump rockets, or "real" rockets - they have great kits at craft stores!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:59 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • I think it is a good idea to send him this year... is he is 11 yrs old... the camp he would attend is for 9-11 y/o kids. So he would be physically and mentally on target with the rest of the kids attending. And also at this age most of the kids are not as mean or should I say don't notice the issue as much as if you waited until next summer.

    Next summer when he is 12 y/o, he will be at camp with ages 12-14 and those kids can be mean. If his birthday falls a little before camp you can always contact them and see if he can attend with the 9-11 y/os just in case.

    I would definately send him. If he is obsessed with astronauts then this would be a good thing for him. He would want to be involved. But you do need to let the adults in charge know about his condition. This way they can be prepared and keep an extra eye on him.

    Or they also offer a parent/child camp for ages 7-12 if you wanted to be on hand.
    BigMama1077

    Answer by BigMama1077 at 10:50 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • You can choose between 3 and 4 days. This way, no one has to stay at a local hotel... you can be with him the whole time. Its also cheaper (well in concept). Instead of the $800 to send just him... you pay $400 for each of you this way. Its the same price, but its .... whatever. Anyway, there are the options.
    BigMama1077

    Answer by BigMama1077 at 10:52 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • I'm more interested in finding out if this would help his social skills develop. I've told him over and over again that one needs math, science and a lot of school to become an astronaut, but he doesn't believe me. And his interest in rockets is more on the side of how cool it is to make them blow up or break things. Even the simplest model kit- if it involves more than two steps, or having to wait for the glue to dry-takes too long for him is too hard and I'm "Too mean for ruining his fun." My thought was that the classes would show him that I am not lying to him about what was involved & that being alone with his peers in the 8-11 group would help fix some of his more disturbing social traits. (like thinking that everything is about him & his constant talk about death by fire in rockets) even if he gets kicked out for behavior then he will know that it was due to his behavior & not because I am trying to ruin his fun.
    elizabooks

    Answer by elizabooks at 2:34 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • He's not in sports, scouts, 4H or any other kids group and has socal interaction with his peers. I've looked into the weekend program & it seems so trivial. (to me) His father would be going with him & his sisters and I will be doing something else. So this way he can have some guy time.
    elizabooks

    Answer by elizabooks at 2:47 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Is he getting counseling? ***his constant talk about death by fire in rockets*** This comment disturbs me. Their has got to be something more than a slight delay. Have you requested any neuropsychological testing outside of the school?
    Sandyr911

    Answer by Sandyr911 at 7:59 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • Oh I know there is something more going on, but no one else sees it. We've offered to pay for additional testing at kennedy Kruger institute, but his mother is sure that I am being an alarmist and if the school saw something they would recommend testing. He hasn't had an IEP done in four years.I just don't think he should be allowed to disappear in to video games (even if it is just Mario) for five hours a day to keep him calm.
    elizabooks

    Answer by elizabooks at 3:13 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

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