ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Parents of kids with disabilities are scrambling to find an alternative to the City of Round Rock’s adaptive camp. This comes after a policy change increased restrictions that break employee-to-camper ratios.
Parents wrote in about the policy change to KXAN through our ReportIt! tip line.
Many who wrote in said they were surprised by the change in policy and were given little warning before the time to register started this past Monday.
Chris Bredemeier’s 15-year-old daughter Emma has several disabilities that require personal attention.
The camp’s new personal care policy now determines that campers must be capable of not interrupting its 1:4 counselor to camper ratio by requiring one-on-one attention.
Bredemeier said her family is now rushing to figure out new plans for Emma after learning about this change.
She said if she is unable to find another affordable day camp for her daughter, she or her husband will have to miss work, or they will have to hire a sitter. Either option would strain finances.
“My daughter is going to be devastated. I just for us, we just need to do what we can to find another option. She is going to regress because she’s not getting that stimulation, that time with friends,” Bredemeier said.
Rick Atkins is the director of Parks and Recreation for the city.
He said the city did not intend anyone to feel blindsided by this policy change and that he knows it is not welcome news to families.
Atkins said the change comes after much deliberation following an uptick in behavioral and toiletry issues over the last two years.
“There are certain situations that we want to make to make sure that we protect our public from. It’s a necessary change that has to happen for the betterment of the program long term,” Atkins said.
Children who do not meet the new policy’s criteria can still attend the camp, but with the help of a personal care assistant.
Atkins said his department is very open to any suggestions parents have about communication and how to adapt its program in the future.