Surviving Summer Vacation

SURVIVING SUMMER VACATION

3 TIPS FROM LICENSED SOCIAL WORKER AND DIRECTOR OF HOLLISTON YOUTH AND FAMILIES, JACLYN WINER

Ahthe sweet taste of summertime is upon us. Longer days, no school, and hours upon hours of free time at home. Kids wait all year long for this moment. Yet for parents of children with special needs, summer is usually the time of year they dread the most.

During summer breaks, kids who depend on the structure and containment of school quickly wear out their parents with their need for predictable and consistent routines. All day. Every day. All parents know this feeling, no matter what your child’sextra special ability is.

As parent you can usually make two safe predictions: Your child is likely to get bored often and easily, and they are almost as likely to become demanding of your time, attention, and patience. The way to manage summers lack of structure is to strike a balance between free time and planned time. Use these tips to help you light your way. 

  1. Continue your child’s medication, therapy, or other helpful routines that work for them during the school year.  If it worked, and kept everyone happy, why make a change? Even during the summer months, children need structure to feel secure and have a sense of what to expect. A simple weekly calendar of events lets your child seewhat’s coming. 

  2. Take a break for yourself and rely on your supports.

    Summer should also be a time to relax. Try not to over schedule yourself. This is a great time to regroup. Show kindness to yourself. Self-care is so important to keeping your energy up, and letting the small stuff roll off your back.

  3. Seek out opportunities for your child to volunteer in order to build skills and boost their self-esteem. Take advantage of summer recreational and educational opportunities. Children with special needs want to do well, and they want you to be proud of them. Finding opportunities to utilize their strengths is key all year‘round 

So go ahead and schedule some activties, then get out of the way and let your child do what comes naturally!