Hi! I’m new here. I am struggling with how to handle my 15 year old son’s letters from sleep away camp expressing how miserable he is and demanding we pick him up if we care about him and his mental health. I picked this camp because they specialize in supporting teens with autism (Asperger’s type) and giving ASD kids a fun camp experience in a safe, supportive environment. It checks many boxes for us like building independence, having positive social experiences and gaining life skills. It has unique outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking. I don’t think the problem is the camp. I saw it and I have spoken with the staff extensively, even daily since I dropped him off 4 days ago. It’s a two week session. My son showed up willingly but he complains about everything- activities, food, other kids being annoying, being treated as a baby, lack of control over his daily schedule and worst, having mental breakdowns about being there. My gut tells me he needs to learn resilience and build the skills he lacks, that it’s a safe place. But my heart is broken at how sad he is and begging to be picked up. I feel like I cannot breathe knowing how mad he is at me for making him stay there. I think he’s in full defense mode right now and I don’t know how to get him out. I try to tell myself I’m doing this for future him. But I don’t know what to say to him or how to help him give this camp a chance. If anyone has any advice on how I can deal with my conflicted feelings, I would be most appreciative.

Posted by ellenm at 2024-06-14 17:47:24 UTC