One of the most exciting parts about summer is that it comes with a change of pace. If you have a child with autism, this break from normal routine can be unfortunately and understandably daunting. It doesn’t have to be though; take a look at the tips below to help you and your child have the happy summer that you both deserve!
Keep some of the routine
With summer up ahead, your child will probably have to already adjust to new friends, a new setting, new clothing and more. Help your child keep these adjustments under control by sticking to the meal times, meal menus, and bed times that you have established during the school year as much as you can. Vacations and camps will complicate this commitment to some extent, but making a conscious effort to pack your child a lunch for camp that resembles what they normally eat will go a long way in helping your child maintain their comfort with all the new summer changes around them.
Sign up for swimming lessons
According to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, swimming can help children with autism overcome challenges in many areas. Other sports often prove to be too overwhelming for special needs children due to the complex rules they have and the necessity to interact with teammates and competitors. Swimming, on the other hand, is a sport that will allow your child to focus on their own body, have fun in the comfort of being underwater, and get some good exercise!
If your child is able to attend a summer camp, ask the camp you are considering to provide a tour for you and your child before the start date. Asking to meet the counselors that will be working with your child and viewing the facilities that they will be spending each day in will help both you and your child become more comfortable with the changes ahead. If you do not like what you see on your tour, look for a different camp, as it’s important not to settle when it comes to your child’s comfort when away from home.
If your child is unable to attend a summer camp, don’t try to work through the summer alone. Confide in and utilize family, family friends, and the people you trust. Having cousins or grandparents come over for a family fun day every once in a while to give your child a comfortable new experience and give yourself a day off will help make summer the best it can be for everyone.
Although it might not always be smooth sailing for your child with autism, summer can be blast! Whether your child is attending a summer program, camp or staying home with you, using the tips above is sure to help you avoid some challenges, and create a summer full of fun.