So, this is Sophie's fourth year at Communicamp, and the tears flowed from the get-go when all the aides and relatives held up signs to the words to a very schmaltzy pop song during the final ceremonies. The show began with that demonstration -- a demonstration that underscored alternative means to communicate. Many of us did openly weep. But don't get me wrong -- Communicamp is not inspiration porn.
The two women who run it, one a very seasoned special educator, and the other a prominent speech pathologist who specializes in AAC, are the perfect combination of task master and nurturer (each one is a perfect combination). All of the children who come for two weeks to this beautiful spot overlooking the glorious, blue Pacific are severely disabled. Some are in wheelchairs and others can walk, assisted. Some are medically fragile and others are robust. All are non-verbal, though, and each child or young adult is encouraged to communicate and make progress over the two weeks of camp. I've written pretty extensive posts in the past about this amazing program, and you can read or re-read them here and here and here. Oh, and here. Be sure to read that last one because there's a bit of medical marijuana angst there.
I'm sorry to have such crappy photos this year. Don't ask me what happened, but it all looks like a blur.
Ugh. I hate that I didn't get Sophie hitting those switches at the exact right moment, cuing the younger kids to do their thing. She smiled so much during her parts of the show, and I believe really enjoyed herself this year. Compared to yesterday's photos, these pictures look like I was drunk or something. And I wasn't. Honestly. I just can't be perfect all the time. Ha.