Get Ready for The Summer Break

Nadia Shanab | Uncategorized
5 May 2013

Summer is around the corner! You are probably wondering what should you do with your child with ASD for two months or more! You are torn between two temptations: Should I let her rest, relax and forget about her daily routine? Or should I keep the strict school schedule going?

This is what I think parents in general, and in particular parents of children with ASD, should do:

1- By now, your child has come a long way. She has learned a lot of information, accumulated different experiences, and  acquired many skills over the last school year. Her brain has been actively well trained to receive, accept, handle, and assimilate new data. The progress she has gained needs a continuous maintenance to keep the inertia of the learning process running.

2- To relinquish her schedule altogether for many weeks would be a regrettable waste. You, your child, and the entire family has invested so much time and effort to earn what you have achieved thus far. Picking up the learning speed won’t be very easy otherwise.

3- Sticking to a schedule is a life-style for individuals with ASD. Read about the importance of a daily schedule here:

4- The schedule doesn’t have to be as acadamic oriented as the school year one.

5- Make the schedule as diverse and attractive as possible to encourage your child to abide by it.

6- Include the activities your child is interested in, whether academic, cultural, or physical.

7- Consult with your child, you’ll be surprised how many ideas she has in store for the summer break.

8- Take advantage of this break to develop the areas of strengths in your child, it might turn to be her career in the future.

9- Remember that our goal as parents and educators is to help the kids be as independent and social as possible. This is a good time to do so.

10- Even if you are traveling, plan to make a schedule that fits into your vacation time. It would also be the perfect timing to learn physical activities (swimming,building sand castles, beach ball,…)

11- If you are traveling by plane, find out about the accomodations the air company you fly with have for your child. Many of them now train the crew to help individuals with autism meet their needs. Make every minute of her time and your time a positive learning opportunity.

12- Board games are great for vacations. Beside the fun they provide, they enhance speech, social skills, and teach new concepts.

Objective: Think of your child as an athlete, help her stay fit over the summer.

Keep your child’s mind hooked in the learning process all year long. An engaged mind will support the development (physical, social/emotional, and psychological) the child is going through.The transition later on into a new school year will be smooth and pleasant. Summer time is a great opportunity to practice social skills and meet new people. Keep your child connected with her community, she’ll need it later on. The idea of having a routine during summer break is to keep the learning process going while she is still be able to have fun. Create a  schedule that is: inviting, pleasing, and interesting.

Take the cues from your child, you know her best.

nadia shanab

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