Transitioning to Summer Break Successfully

asummerfun-logoAs school starts to let out, I’m sure many of you are considering how the transition from school to summer will go. This can be a challenging time for some families – it was certainly a challenge for Ryan and I! What I learned over the years was that structure is essential and a day full of planned activities was best. To facilitate this, we would look at the calendar at the beginning of the summer and count the number of days for summer vacation. Then, we would add our activities to each day. This way, Ryan could look ahead and see what day he was going to be golfing, or going to the amusement park, or just beaching it on Lake Erie. Having a schedule helped to reduce his anxiety about what he would do the following day and reassured him that he would be having lots of fun throughout his summer vacation!

Some other tips I would recommend to help make the transition an easy one:

  • Include lots of physical activity. Students get weary by the end of the school year from sitting at a desk day in and day out. Help them to release all their bottled up energy by playing outside, jogging, or engaging in team sports. Plus, it’s good for their health! We are so fortunate to have Presque Isle State Park so close to us. Nature walks, swimming, and pontoon boats are just a few of the “free” activities to enjoy.
  • Communicate by talking about the changes that will be occurring soon and even consider starting a countdown to the first day of summer. The more time you give your child to prepare, the easier the transition can be. Likewise, as August neared I reached out to the school to schedule a time for Ryan to visit, meet his new teachers and see his new classroom. Giving him time to prepare and reminding him that the change was coming ensured a smoother start to the new school year.
  • Although Ryan didn’t participate in any of the traditional summer camps, today there are so many more opportunities to consider. The best way to find out what’s available is get on the internet and google summer camp options in your area.

If you are looking for some additional fun ideas, two GREAT websites to take a look at are:

https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2015/06/11/10-fun-summer-diy-sensory-games-kids

http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2012/06/20/82-summer-activities-for-families-with-special-needs/

sprinkler-summer-fun-cc-Lotus_Carroll

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