School is wrapping up and the sun is shining. It's almost time for summer!
Many individuals with autism do best with a routine. Some have a hard time with change. As a result, the transition from school to summer can be difficult.
Here are some of our quick tips to help your family get ready for the transition from the classroom to the campground!
Prepare your child. As school comes to an end, make sure your child is prepared in advance. Be very clear about what changes will be happening in the weeks and days leading up to the start of summer. Use visual aids and pictures to help with the preparation.
Start a countdown. Highlight the first day of summer break on your family calendar and make it a point to show the calendar to your child each day. Use a fun activity to figure out how many days are left until summer kicks off!
Focus on the fun! Continue to let your child know that you are excited for summer and describe the activities you know he or she will enjoy. This will give your child something to look forward to and be excited about.
Keep the summer schedule as fixed as possible. For many families, a big perk of summer is the more relaxed and flexible schedule. For your child with autism, however, it may be best to keep the summer routine more structured like it is during the school months.
As always, make sure safety is a priority! The warm weather can often lead to higher incidents of wandering. Find some of our wandering resources here.
Consider a summer program! Summer programs and activities are a great way for a child to enjoy the summer months and establish a routine. You can search for programs in your local area using the Autism Speaks Resource Guide.
Contact the Autism Response Team (ART). For assistance locating additional information, tools, or resources contact ART by calling 1-888 AUTISM2 (288-4762), en Español: 1-888-772-9050, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us spread the word by forwarding this to families you know living with autism, so they can prepare for summer, too.
(Lisa Goring/Executive Vice President, Programs & Services Autism Speaks)