Summer at last!
I am always excited as my Mother was to see that summer is here! When I was a child, that meant being outside from 9-4 (excluding lunch), playing with the neighborhood kids, bicycling, red rover and games of croquet. We did not have video games, thank goodness!
When I became a mom, the arrival of summertime meant: no more homework, getting up at 6am, and lots of opportunities to be outside, especially in Erie! There are SO many reasons for being outside after being in school in classrooms for the last 9 months.
To be sure, I never knew who was more excited… Ryan or me!
Of course, my major concern was: Would I be able to find someone to be with Ryan Monday-Friday while I worked?????
We had tried the usual camps, unsuccessfully, so I would begin looking in April for a college student who wanted a summer job. Usually the students were special education majors who were looking for experience that they could put on their resumes.
This was great for Ryan because I would find a male (who could be a peer), who liked to swim, play basketball, run, hike, and generally spend most of the day outdoors.
Summer is a wonderful time for all children, especially for children on the autism spectrum. There are increased opportunities to learn and practice their social skills and perhaps meet new friends, which often is a challenge.
For Ryan, summer allowed him to practice skills that he had learned at school in various community environments. Exposure to a variety of settings as well as people also enabled him to practice his coping skills and to deal with his anxiety issues.
So, to all the Moms and Dads or grandparents reading this blog, it will be a long 9 months before summer comes around again. Let’s enjoy all the opportunities that summer brings us and get outside!