Preparing for Summer Break

Question:

How can I prepare my child for the summer school break? He does well in his school environment, but I’m not sure how he will respond to a less structured environment once school is out.

Answer:

The weeks before summer can be exciting and often frantic at the same time. Some families are planning vacations and day camps, while other families are planning for social skills camps and shifting therapy hours. In working with so many families over the years we have seen summers organized many different ways. Here are some ideas that may work for your family’s summer routine.

The summer months can be a good time to add variety and novelty to therapy sessions. Some families like to add therapy hours in the morning or daytime while their child is out of school. Time during the day spent with a therapist can allow for more natural environment training and time in the community. Thinking outside of the box in terms of what therapy can look like may result in increased progress. For example, your ABA therapist can facilitate play dates, attend camp with your child to facilitate social skills (when insurance allows it), or join you at the pool to work on safety awareness and community living skills.

To work on behavioral and communication skills, consider any kind of water play on a hot day. Some fun ideas are sprinklers, water guns, water balloons. Once you are involved in a fun and motivating activity, use it to work on expanded requesting or social commenting.

If you find an outdoor activity your child loves, step it up a notch and have your child invite a neighbor over to play. Role-playing can be done to practice all the steps involved in inviting friends over and asking them to play. ModelMeKids.com is one online resource that provides an array of social skills videos that can help get the role-playing process started.

As always, we encourage you to reach out to your BCBA to start planning a fun and productive summer program that will help your child reach his or her goals.

If you are feeling adventurous and have some time to make a mess, here are some recipes for fun indoors or out on a summer day:

 

Make it Yourself Play Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 pkg. unsweetened Kool-Aid® (powder only)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Directions:

  • In a bowl, mix flour, salt and Kool-Aid®
  • Stir in water (adults only) and oil
  • Knead with hands for about 5 minutes
  • Store in a bag for up to 2 months

Recipe from dltk-kids.com

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The smallest change can have the most profound effect