Parents Summer Survival Guide
Posted on 26th August 2019 at 16:15
I help parents who are caring for children and young people with special needs or disability.
How do you manage the new routine in the summer holidays?
We all like to have an idea of what is going to happen in our day. Children with autism miss most of the language and social/behavioural cues that help the rest of us understand what is happening.
Autistic children can also become anxious, resistant and may misbehave simply because they have no way to anticipate the events that come upon them each day.
Visual schedules quickly inform the child about the day's expectations in the long summer holidays.
Summary to Managing Change and Transition Anxiety
Try Special Yoga stretches at home together with your child to aid relaxation for you both.
Watch TV/Movies wearing your pyjamas together.
Dance around the house to your favourite Music.
Camp out in your garden or build an indoor den using blankets, etc.
Lay down using a weighted blanket.
Use a special clock or Mobile Phone Timer to countdown end of computer time or task.
Use a Visual Schedule to display day or week ahead as discussed above
Talk about what is happening and explain in basic language using your families means of communication, e.g. Pictures, look at places visiting on the computer before you go.
If holidaying abroad, most UK airports now provide a ‘Sunflower’ lanyard for the child to carry and also have staff who can help offer special assistance to your family if needed. If you are wearing the lanyard, staff should recognise it and understand that you have a hidden disability and that you may need a little extra help or time.
Allow your child to come up with their own stress solutions. Use of objects, favourite toys, photo’s, Makaton signs, PECS symbols, drawings, taking a set of cards out with the child, etc.
Match your child’s enjoyment and passion with your activities, e.g. my son loves trees, so he likes to visit Forest areas where he is so relaxed and calm and happy.
If your child loves computers then use their tablet for enjoyment and learning or as a reward for visiting somewhere they were anxious about.
Finally... looking after yourself is so important. Self-Care really boosts our own mental health and self-esteem.
Ask yourself: What can you do for yourself, this summer?
When we take time to care for ourselves, we can:
1. Lower stress levels
2. Teach our children to value their health and wellbeing
3. Be better, healthier, calmer parents
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