Summer can be daunting for parents of children with special needs since school-based services and therapies may be put on hold and the possibility of losing progress is high. Here are a few tips to help prevent the summer slide:
Look for opportunities within the school.
Depending on your district, some schools offer summer therapies and extended school year (ESY) services. Although not as intense as school, these services can continue progress throughout the summer.
Explore summer camp options.
Agencies around central Indiana offer day and overnight camps for children with special needs. Summer camps can offer opportunities to learn new skills and maintain abilities, while providing a structure similar to the school day.
Plan activities during the day.
Seek out one “major” activity during the day as a focus, such as the park, pool, play dates and weekend trips. Some attractions offer free or low-cost memberships during the summer.
Consult with your therapists about home programs.
Before saying goodbye for the summer, check with your child’s therapists to see about any programs you can implement at home to address needs.
Consider outpatient summer therapies.
Summer may be a good time to address activities that require a higher level of effort and supervision, like toilet training or feeding. Consult with agencies to see about summer availability.