The abundant benefits of summer camp are for everyone, so if you have children, teens or young adults with special needs, developmental disabilities, a chronic medical condition, or you're just not sure they’d fit in socially, don’t let your worries take over. The camps below offer extra care and support for children and young adults with special circumstances. There are even family camps available. Break out the camp gear and prepare your loved ones for an unforgettable experience!
Camp Cosmos at ConnectMed
One-day camp (July 23) for youth with physical differences and disabilities, plus free, year-round inclusive events.
11011 N Torrey Pines Rd., Ste 200
La Jolla, CA
Art & Heart Classes at Seaside Arts Center
Seaside Arts Center offers weekly adaptive arts classes for children ages 3–10 on Saturdays. Visual arts, music, literary arts and dance are combined to create a fun, supportive and engaging class.
11130 E Ocean Air Dr.
Carmel Valley, CA
AWARE-Adults with Autism Recreation Experience
Fun, summer day camp for young adults (18+) on the Autism Spectrum allows socialization with peers and community-based activities. Camper or family member must be a current Autism Society of San Diego member.
Ecke YMCA Gymnastics Center
6100 Avenida Encinas
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Camp Able at Coronado
Provides children and adults with mental and physical disabilities the opportunity to experience aquatic activities such as kayaking, sailing and swimming in the ocean.
Summer horse camp dedicated to encouraging interaction of disabled and able-bodied children of all ages. Day camp for ages 7–17 with therapeutic horseback riding and horse grooming program.
110 Rancho del Oro Dr.
City of Chula Vista Day Camps
Students with disabilities are encouraged to register for half- and full-day camps offered at six community centers in the Chula Vista area. Two-week notice is required to complete an assessment and to assign an aide, if needed.
Chula Vista, CA
Junior Adaptive Sports Camp
Campers ages 4–18 are introduced to adaptive sports such as wheelchair basketball, tennis, lacrosse, archery, water skiing, sailing and more at Crown Point and Miramar College.
Adaptive Sports and Recreation Association
Rancho Family YMCA Camps
Exciting, inclusive camps offered to children of all abilities. Assessment provided for areas of camp support. Financial aid available.
9410 Fairgrove Ln., SD, 92129
Salvation Army Kroc Center Day Camp
Trained Inclusion Coordinator and Day Camp Manager assess each child with special needs (with parent present) three weeks prior to camp to determine if reasonable accommodations can be provided to meet their needs and keep them safe.
6845 University Ave., SD, 92115
The Autism Society San Diego offers an annual surf camp at La Jolla Shores for persons with Autism (ages 5 to adult). Includes other beach activities and arts & crafts.
La Jolla, CA
RESIDENT (SLEEPOVER) CAMPS
Camp Beyond the Scars Burn Institute
Traditional summer camp for burn-injured children ages 8–17 with professional support for dealing with their unique physical and emotional challenges. Counselors include off-duty firefighters, medical staff and adult burn survivors.
Camp del Corazon
Three primary programs for children and families living with congenital heart disease: P.A.C.E. (Progressive Adult Congenital Experience) program for ages 18–25, summer camp for ages 7–17, and Happy Heart Festival, an annual educational symposium.
North Hollywood, CA
ACA-accredited fully accessible camp for individuals ages 10 to adults with developmental and/or physical disabilities. Run by Easterseals with a 3:1 camper/counselor ratio (1:1 also available), on-site health center, 14 heated cabins, arts & crafts center, accessible swimming pool, putting green, athletic field, gardening areas and animal farm.
Boulder Creek, CA
Residential camp in the Catskill Mountains for ages 6 and up with ADHD, LD, PDD-NOS, ADD and ASD. Offers a unique program of adaptive therapeutic recreation including structured activities, nurturing care, a positive setting, and academic instruction to meet IEP goals. The local area offers many activities for the family.
High Falls, NY
Camp Let Loose
Week-long summer program for kids with special needs. Paired 1:1 with a teen counselor, campers enjoy yoga, art, music, baking, sports, water fun, face-painting and field trips.
2558 Roosevelt St. Ste. 203
Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah
Two programs available for Jewish children and young adults with special needs. Enjoy specialized, therapeutic programming in a supportive camp environment staffed with behavior and family education specialists. Vocational training program available.
Camp Oty’Okwa Special Care Camp
Residential camp for children who have been diagnosed with Learning Disabilities, ADD/ ADHD, behavior or mood disorders, Autism or a combination of needs. Campers interact in typical programs, are integrated into routine camp activities, and participate in groups with campers of similar diagnoses.
South Bloomingville, OH
Overnight camp near Big Bear for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities, such as Autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Epilepsy. Camp activities include adaptive sports, creative arts, performing arts, swimming, cookouts and campfires and nature hikes.
Cedarpines Park, CA
ACA-accredited, weekly residential camps for children and adults with disabilities offered in the summer, fall and spring. Provides recreational, therapeutic and social activities in an authentic camp setting. Campers are grouped by diagnosis/need and are never turned away due to severity of disability or inability to pay.
Wilderness camping experience located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for ages 8–18 with physical disabilities. Founded by local climbing legend Stephen Wampler.
Soda Springs, CA
CIP (College Internship Program) Summer Program
Two-week college experience for ages 16–19 with ASD, ADHD and other learning differences. College is not just about academics; it’s about fostering connections, learning skills to succeed and having fun.
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Family Camp
Three annual family camps offered through California Hands & Voices—held in three different areas of California at different times of the year. Attend one or all three! Provides an opportunity for children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing and their families to come together in a positive environment.
Dragonfly Forest Summer Camp
YMCA ummer camps designed for children with Autism, 22Q, Asthma and medical needs, allows them to safely enjoy camp activities such as swimming, fishing, archery, arts and crafts, ropes courses, boating and nature activities.
Dingmans Ferry, PA
Week-long resident camp held at YMCA Camp Oakes in the San Bernardino Mountains for ages 14 & up with disabilities. Activities include crafts, hayrides, talent shows, dances, swimming, canoeing, archery, hiking and a ropes course.
Big Bear, CA
Flying Horse Farms
ACA-accredited, sleepaway camp for ages 7–15 who can only participate in camps that provide medical support due to diagnoses in cardiology, hematology, oncology, rheumatology, gastrointestinal disorders, pulmonary disorders, rare diseases and facial anomalies. Fully staffed with doctors and nurses 24/7 in a state-of-the-art medical building.
Mt. Gilead, OH
SOAR Adventure Camps
Summer camps for ages 8–18 with ADHD and learning differences help students increase independence by participating in rock climbing, whitewater rafting, scuba diving, camping and horseback riding. Camp programs offered in NC, WY, FL and CA.
Looking for more program options for kids with developmental disabilities or unique needs? The Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego has tons of helpful information. Here is the Flourishing Families link for recreation resources and programs.
See San Diego Family's full 2023 Spring/Summer Camp listings HERE.
Updated: April 2023