This is a very difficult question to answer without thorough knowledge of your daughter’s SM. The severity of her SM, level of independence, ability to handle new situations, is she going with friends, willingness to ‘want to go’ to sleep away camp are just a few questions I would need to know to adequately help you with this question. My initial instinct would be that sleep away camp would be VERY, VERY difficult for the average SM child – unless she has progressed with treatment to be able to ‘speak up’ when she needed to; for example, if she is feeling ill, has an emergency, gets lost, etc. I would not rely on a camp 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to be able to take care of all your child’s needs and UNDERSTAND her SM. As you clearly know, dealing with an SM child can be quite frustrating. If it were my child, and she was severely SM and COULD NOT answer basic questions or SPEAK UP, I certainly would not send her to sleep over camp until I felt she could truly hold her own. I would worry that the anxiety created would cause a worsening of her condition.

Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum