All ready for the summer?
A mixed reaction to that question I imagine. For some the school holiday cannot come quick enough as it means a rest and a chance to re charge enabling a fresh start in September. For others it is the start of a six week nightmare.
The thing is, some our kids who have Autism are quite content with the routine and structure of a school day. It is planned, timed activities and there is a clear start and end to the day. It's going home that this all changes, unless you are a parent who is waiting with a timetable to carry on that routine at home, some of us do with a chart or visual prompts but a lot of us struggle to know what the right thing is to do.
There is no right or wrong is there? It is a case of going with the flow and it does depend on the child. I have tried the charts at home and even printed off Makaton symbols in the early days which did help to some extent but life is full of change and I know that is no help at all for someone with Autism.
So what do we do to to get over the summer period? For us it's about getting out and just walking. Both my boys are getting older now and tend to do their own thing but there is one thing about my eldest son and that he is never bored, he is always busy. He will draw or make powerpoint presentations of his favourite Disney movies, he never stops. Walking is great, it works off some energy, keeps us fit and he takes his lightsaber out with him, just in case we may meet anyone from the dark side, well you never know!
I tend not to plan too much, I used to always think we had got to go here and there and fill the holidays with mega exciting stuff. This lead to a lot of frustration, not wanting to go out when it came around to it, as anyone knows the day can take a massive turn depending on behaviour. So I chilled out, relaxed and now go with the flow. We still do exciting stuff but at our own pace. We take every day as it comes, if we want to do something we do but if we want to stay in and have a PJ day we do that as well.
I do realise that not every household can do that as there has to be more structure for some and that's fine. We have one of those whiteboard weekly planners which is great, the kids will sometimes just get a marker and write something on that they want to do. Cricket has become our new love this year and I bought a set to take out and have a game so we are looking forward to that when it stops raining!!! As long as we are all happy and we grab that nice walk now and again, the fresh air seems to make us happy.
It's easier on the pocket as well when we walk, most places are free although I did branch out on a National Trust membership this year as there was an offer on and I thought it may be nice to walk around some different places. There are many days out and activities for people with disabilities and if you are in the Derby area there is an organisation called Umbrella who have lots on over the summer. For more information check out their website at www.umbrella.uk.net
If you fancy a bit of support over the holidays the National Autistic Society Derby and District Branch have a meet up on the 22nd August from 7-9pm at The Farmhouse in Derby (60 Ashbourne Road DE22 4LY) so if you fancy a couple of hours out, have a brew (there is a bar too) and just generally chat to others in the same situation then pop along, they will make you feel very welcome.
Keep an eye out on your local council website as they will have information about what is going on in your area. There are a lot of 'What's On' Facebook pages too if you search for your local area. Whatever you do though I hope it is stress free and you have fun. Please leave a comment and let me know ideas you have and how you cope, it's good to share any information.
Thank you for reading, please come back for more tomorrow when I will be chatting about the world of TV on 'Pass the Remote'.
Take care for now........
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Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.