My child with disabilities in an integrated summer camp: a better world is possible!

The experience of Raffo, an ordinary child of almost 10 years, in the words of his mother, who tells of an experience of total inclusion

All too often, unfortunately, we accidentally give news about episodes of discrimination to the detriment of children with disabilities who are not admitted to summer camps or for whom these experiences are suggested in the form reduced, various, except. We therefore couldn’t be happier today to report instead the positive story, full of joy and gratitude, lived by Raffoas here told us by his mother.

Disability often carries with it tales of daily hardships (unfortunately there are many), often due to a lack of services or due to the real recognition of the person, beyond his or her frailties. Yet many of the daily barriers, with good will and respect, even with constant commitment, could be easily overcome and project us towards a better society and world.
Today I want to tell you a positive, beautiful and moving everyday experience which has broken down many barriers and created networks and bridges instead.

I am the mother of Raffa (as they all call it) an average child of almost ten yearshe has its own means of communicationacquired with great effort and a lot of rehabilitation work that led us to discover a rich, lively and attentive inner world … even if sometimes impenetrable for those unfamiliar with his tools.

We learned that quickly sociality is fundamental to him, but it is above all to feel welcome in a world that regards him as a person and not by reason of its difficulty, with its means and so much labor, has it learned to represent this feeling of you.
We have invested a lot in making him live every experiencewhich often overcomes our normal fears with difficulty.

He always attended summer camps and lived among the so-called “normo” friendsAfter the acute part of the pandemic emergency, these social experiences have acquired a different value, they have become vitalwhereas before they were an option. Also this year, she participated in an integrated summer camp for 6 weeks organized by our Town Hall (we are in Rome, Town Hall VIII). Every day we saw his face light up when he came in and we saw him go out calm and happyespecially eager to return the next day.

The association, which organized the summer camp on behalf of the town hall, as every year, she welcomed him with open arms and with the same smile with which she welcomes every child, without ever letting him perceive his diversity and involving him in any activity, with great professionalism and respect; was joined by an operator appointed by the municipality and dependent on the administrative body itself who has followed him at school for 4 years (they know very well how it works), everything took place in one of the complexes of the didactic circles in the area, there were children of a homogeneous age, but many faces that my son had never seen and that he learned to know there.
And the magic happened: for the first time children without problems and wonderful that they had never seen him, they learned, with the simplicity, purity and spontaneity typical of children, to understand his language and welcomed my son just like one of them, they made him feel like part of the group, the mothers got in touch with us parents Why the children asked to be able to spend time, even on weekends, with my sonthey sought him constantly, and his joy and ours was indescribable at any message.

This morning, when I brought it, an operator I didn’t know said with the greatest spontaneity: Raffo today is your last day, I’m sorry, we all adore you here, the other children meanwhile with it greatest spontaneity filled with devotion, my heart was at that moment filled with joy. I walked out the gate while my son went to the activities surrounded by the other kids and I wanted to cry, it was a shout of joy. I stopped for a moment alone to think, and I said to myself: you are not pursuing a utopian world, another world and another society are possible.
This experience is proof that anything is possible if the will is present, it was certainly not easy for the Administration to implement such a complex machine and it certainly wasn’t easy to make everything work, the work behind it is really a lot but this experience has sown enormous value in society, it has created bridges and networks that will lead us towards a better society tomorrow

Mariella Tarquini
President of the SuperRare Network

Also read about this topic:

Summer camps and children with disabilities are discriminated against. How to defend yourself

Leave a Comment