Summer Programs for Teens with SCI/D

Growing up and becoming an adult is already tough, but it’s even harder when you’re navigating life with a spinal cord injury or disease (SCI/D). 
When someone first gets a SCI, they usually go through a period of rehabilitation after the initial hospital stay. This includes occupational and physical therapy which is crucial to learning the basics of taking care of your body, moving around independently, and using a wheelchair or other mobility aids. Dealing with such a life-altering injury can also affect emotions and motivation making it harder to fully engage in recovery, and it can lead to poor outcomes and inability to reach your full potential and goals. 
Hospital and rehab stays are becoming shorter or families may not live near a spinal cord injury center. This results in lack of support and resources, yet teens with SCI/D need extra help that goes beyond the hospital and rehab. Community and peer support is important because it can help you develop pride a sense of identity and pride, improve your health and well-being, and keep you moving towards your personal goals. 
There are not many programs specific to teens with SCI/D but here are three for you to check out this summer. These programs by BACKBONES, True Grit SCI, and Empower SCI are available for adolescent and young adult patients after hospitalization and offer peer support. 

BACKBONES Youth Program

Virtual summer program that empowers teenagers with SCI/D to build self advocacy skills and learn about topics important to youth with disabilities. Learn from disability leaders and meet new friends!

True Grit SCI Program

True Grit seeks to fill the gaps in rehabilitation through hosting adaptive actives with support of peer mentors, experienced SCI therapists, and in person residential rehabilitation program hosted at Rutgers University.

Empower SCI Program

Empower SCI seeks to propel individuals living with SCI on their path to a fully actualized, more independent life through unique immersive programming and community support.