With today being the first day of Summer, it‘s time to take advantage of the long days and beautiful weather that comes with Summer. For parents of autistic children or other special needs, the Summer break may be even more stressful than the school year. Here are some helpful ways to cut down on the stress and increase the fun for both parents and children.
A Daily Schedule
If your child enjoys the structure that school provides, a repeated morning routine followed by the school day and consistently scheduled extracurricular activities, then creating a Summer schedule may be beneficial for the entire family. Be sure to keep up with practice in social skills and communication, along with exercise and academics. Limiting TV or video game time is also recommended.
The school year provides a structure and schedule for both children and parents to follow. With summer comes the absence of that daily schedule that your child has become comfortable with. Talk with your child about the upcoming schedule changes and explore the possibility of doing some activities that your child may be interested in.
For those with special needs, opportunities to communicate and be social are essential to plan over the Summer. Anything from sports, family gatherings or even a job are amazing chances to see your child have fun and continue to improve their essential social skills.
Yes it’s the Summertime, but a continued focus on homework carried over from the school year will be extremely helpful for your child or children. Even at a relaxed pace, working on essential skills will keep a part of the familiar school routine in the child’s daily life and can help with avoid the mental setbacks that might happen if schoolwork is not practiced over the Summer break.
Not Relying on TV and Video Games
Sitting your child in front of the TV or letting them play video games all day long seems like an easy strategy for parents. Low-cost, safe and not requiring constant supervision may sound good at first but parents should never rely on this strategy for getting through Summer. Getting children out of the house, breathing fresh air is much more productive than staring at a screen all day long.
Don't Forget About Yourselves!
This is a break for you too parents! Plan something simple, but fun, that you are interested in but will work for everybody in the family too. A day trip to someplace you’ve always wanted to go, a trip to the beach to play in the sand or even a hike that’s just around the corner, these are opportunities for the entire family to interact and see smiles on everybody’s faces.
Summer is supposed to be a fun time for all. Don’t let stress overwhelm you and your child’s life by planning in advance and by focusing on helpful skills like communication and exercise. Most importantly, have fun! Make memories and smile with your children.