Summer Fun With Your Kiddo
The summer months, with school vacations and warmer weather, can be the perfect time for parents and children to get out of the house and enjoy some quality time together as a family. Such experiences are no less important or meaningful for families with special needs. However, parents of children on the autism spectrum know that there can be many other factors to consider – their child’s skill level, potentially narrow interests, special sensory needs, and so on – before they can make the most of community outings. But with the right planning and preparation, any parent can find a way to overcome these challenges and share a truly enjoyable and rewarding experience with their loved ones.
This is the subject of an article in the July issue of MetroParent magazine, which features an interview with Stephanie Sweebe, board-certified behavior analyst at Gateway’s Lansing clinic. In the article, Stephanie offers her helpful tips to parents looking to plan their next summer outing with the family. She encourages parents to be proactive, keeping in mind the types of situations that have been difficult in the past, considering why that might have been the case and what could be done to make the child more comfortable and inclined to enjoy the experience. Stephanie advises parents to consider the weather (if planning outdoor activities) and the time of day, taking into account things like regular naps or mealtimes. Further recommendations include bringing along some of the child’s favorite items to enhance their enjoyment, seeking additional support from other family members or friends, and exploring sensory-friendly options that many community venues now offer. Finally, Stephanie encourages parents to make family time a priority, taking advantage of the increased opportunities for family fun before the hectic schedules and school days resume in the fall.
You can view all of Stephanie’s tips for parents and the full article in the July 2019 issue of MetroParent, or online at this link. We are very grateful to count Stephanie among our team of caring and talented BCBAs. For more information on autism-related topics and upcoming events, follow our social media and blog posts. Have a great day!