After a long winter that seemed to consume spring in so many states, Summer – the season of fun – is here!
But with the freedom of summer comes the list of to-do’s, primarily “What will I do with my kids while they are not in school?” While most parents become expert project managers, parents of kids with autism need to be CEOs overseeing far more than sunscreen and sack lunches.
It’s a lot take on”Priming the day, creating visual schedules to make it run smoothly, ensuring there is appropriate food (that they will actually eat) and the safety issues. Who will be present, who will be watching, where is the water?, where are the exits? who will be watching?? Sometimes it feels like the planning, prepping, and safety precautions can leave little room for actual FUN.
But then it happens… the laughter, the smiles, the discoveries, the magic of beach or a sprinkler. The fun is still here. We can do our best to plan and prepare and force into our children’s schedules but in the end, our kids will bring the joy. If we can relax enough to be present and see it, they will show us their innate capacity for joy.
I know we will still plan, worry, prepare and pack…that is what we do. But after you have secured every date and double checked the safety precautions, make sure to leave room to see the fun and celebrate.
To help with the planning, here are a few great resources:
Stepping Up to Summertime Fun!
Tips for a Happy and Healthy Summer!
National Autism Society:
Big Red Safety Toolkit – to prevent wandering http://nationalautismassociation.org/docs/BigRedSafetyToolkit.pdf
Pathfinders for Autism:
Parent Tips: Summer Camp
AST Parent Video:
Making the Most of Summertime for Kids with Special Needs