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Print Posted on 06/29/2017 in Category 1

Tips for A Sane (and Happy) Summer

The school bell has rung and summer is here. We’ve turned off our alarm clocks and are looking forward to lazy days filled with sunshine and relaxation. Does this sound like you and your kids? Maybe not.

Sometimes the summer is actually a time of anxiety, on both the child’s part and the parent’s part. As the parent of a special needs child, you may be wondering how you will keep sane over the summer months! Take comfort in knowing you are not alone. You can also rest assured that your summer can actually be sane and, in fact, fun!

Relax and enjoy summer fun with your special needs children, by following a bit of advice.

Don’t turn off that alarm clock quite yet. Routine is particularly important for special needs children (and maybe even for their parents). Although your routine does not have to be quite as rigid over the summer, your children will still find comfort in knowing what to expect as you go through each day.

A recent article in Indy’s Special Child recommends setting a summer schedule that “can help avoid stress and confusion.” Planned quiet time is particularly important to include in a summer schedule, when activities might become overwhelming. Also prepare your child for the possibility that the schedule will change when the family plans a special outing or an extended vacation.

Cards that depict a routine’s activities might help your child navigate through a new summer schedule as well. Check out the printable routine cards at https://shop.themilitarywifeandmom.com/product/printable-routine-pictures-cards-kids/.

Enlist assistance. A babysitter can help everyone enjoy a more relaxing and fun summer. As Everyday Family suggests, “Summertime means the high-school kids are on vacation too!” Find out if there is one in your neighborhood who might be able to help out a few hours a day or a few days a week, to give you a break.

Maintain a regular bedtime. Summertime activities can be tiring for kids and their parents. The excitement of the day may often spill into the evening hours. During the summer, days are literally and figuratively longer, with the sun setting later each night well into late July. A regular bedtime is important to keep even during those extended summer evenings, however. As Everyday Family also states, “kids are much better behaved when they’re well rested.”

Camps and playdates.  The flexible schedule that comes with summer is a great time to arrange for camps and playdates, both of which offer children opportunities for social skills development, self-esteem and self-confidence building, and keep them occupied and away from electronics.  You can search special needs camps and social skills opportunites on our website under, “Social and Recreation”.

Take care of yourself. As a parent, you need your rest as well. Take the time you need to take care of yourself, with rest, exercise, good nutrition, and all the daily strategies you use throughout the rest of the year to be sure you maintain your good health.

Take the time to enjoy your kids. No explanation necessary here!

Enjoy a sane and happy summer!

Share your tips for keeping sane and happy during the summer in our Community Forum.

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