Earlier this year, we wrote an article about Going Back to School for Kids with Autism. Believe it or not, this school year is almost over! That’s why we wanted to come back to this topic but with an obvious twist: reversing the topic.
This article is meant to provide some tips and information regarding easing children with autism back into a summer schedule. Some children with autism may be in year-long plans, so be sure to talk to your child’s therapist about any breaks or scheduling concerns you may have.
Develop a Transition Plan
Just like going back to school, devising a plan to transition from school to summer is crucial for easing a child into a new schedule. Talk to your child’s school or therapist about what are the most important things to keep in mind for summer.
Things like behavior practices and teaching methods should be consistent between parents and teachers. A drastic change in how behavior is handled from school to home can be damaging to your child’s care plan.
Taking Over for Teachers
Making a list of your child’s needs is an important step toward sending them into a comfortable school environment. Likewise, reading notes from and talking to your child’s teacher can update you on certain behaviors and changes that occurred over the course of the school year.
Make a list of behaviors and activities to keep front of mind for your child during summer break. This can help you think quickly if a problematic behavior or situation arises.
Easing into a Summer Schedule
For some autistic children, transitioning into a different schedule can be very difficult. Make sure to ease your child into a summer setting. This means keeping some degree of consistency with bedtimes, mealtimes, activity times, and other daily activities and routines.
Talking to your child’s teacher or therapist about in-school routines can also help you devise a schedule that makes sense to your child. Find out how long certain activities go on and build a summer schedule around that.
Changing into a full-on summer routine doesn’t have to be the option. New summer activities can replace school activities in the same timeframe. Replacing a teacher’s activity with an outdoor play schedule or indoor activity during the same time period can work wonders when it comes to continuity.
Depending on a child’s sensitivities, vacations can be the hardest thing about summer when it comes to making a child feel comfortable. It’s hard to simulate a vacation and vacation schedules don’t usually resemble a regular daily routine.
Make sure to have visual aids or anything that will help your child understand your family is going to a fun place away from home a few weeks prior to any trip. Cementing an understanding is very important for a smooth transition.
Be sure to make sure that anywhere you stay or visit knows any special needs you have before going. If your child has special needs be sure to find lodgings and activities that can accommodate those needs.
Most importantly, be sure to make a list of everything your child may want or need on your trip. Favorite toys, objects, snacks, and other things may help your child transition to somewhere new.
Be sure to talk to your child’s therapist or pediatrician before making any vacation plans. They could have insight and information you may not think of on your own.
ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants
If you have questions regarding autism treatment, education, or plans to use ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.