Summertime offers many challenges for our students with ASD. The structure and predictability of school is missed by many of our students. Vacations create new routines to learn and some family activities may stretch the capacity of our children’s flexibility. We worry when our children spend too much of their time playing repetitive games on the computer instead of interacting socially.
Consider talking to your child at the beginning of the summer about what activities will occur, day by day, week by week, and month by month. Let them know when you expect company, when you have vacation time, what you will do on vacation, and where they will go when you are at work. Create a daily schedule that provides structure with flexibility and post it where you and your son or daughter can refer to it and make changes as needed. Use the schedule template attached (download in PDF or Word 2010). Use the calendar attached to mark off key days. Consider using picture symbols or color coding if your child does not yet read. Use the attached social narrative to read to your child if he or she is known to respond well to this technique (fill in the blanks with your personal family information).
Summer should be fun for all of us! By preparing your child and providing reassuring visual supports that let them know what summer will “look like”, you can go a long way to helping you and your child have a stress free and relaxing summer!