Autism Spectrum Summer Therapy Tips – How to keep the therapy progress of Autism Spectrum Disorder students going through the summer when kids are off of school.
Years ago, I first took an activist’s approach to improving my son’s social skills and coordination in hopes of mainstreaming him in time for Kindergarten, I dove right into alternative therapies, OT and help from educators – all of which helped improved his, albeit mild, Aspberger’s syndrome behaviors. I remember having feelings of “now what?” when pre-school and his school programs let out for the summer. I wanted (and needed) to keep the progress going at lightning speed to keep his progress with Asperger’s going.
Now, it’s a few years later and I realize that the doldrums of summer don’t necessarily mean a halt to progress for autism Spectrum Disorder children. If anything, my son’s progress is amplified even more over the long summer months. That’s not because we stopped seeking treatment or stopped working with him, it’s because he gets a nice break from the often rigorous social pressures of the school year.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things to do both locally and nationally that people on the Autism Spectrum Disorder spectrum can participate in.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Summer Therapy Tips
The key to autism spectrum summer therapy is to keep the progress going. It’s all to easy for progress to take a vacation when your school support or autism therapist is on vacation. Summer can be a dangerous time where ASD kids can be inclined to long breaks of little social interaction and too much time for vices like video games. Like all kids, ASD students need to be active and social stimulation helps if you’re seeing social progress. Take advantage of the nicer weather, it’s the perfect chance for ASD kids to be given a rest from the scholastic stresses and the break gives them more time to hone in on therapies that aren’t as socially intensive as a school setting.
Here are some sensory friendly events this summer… and don’t forget to keep on eye on our Adaptive Needs Events Calendar for more events.
Monday, June 12, 2023 from 11a-1p (All Mondays through August 7)
West Bloomfield Adaptive Needs Events – Sensory Friendly Mondays at Lily Pad Spring Splash Pad
Lily Pad Springs (6200 Farmington Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322, 248-451-1900, wbparks.org)
Sensory Friendly Mondays beginning June 13 from 11a-1p will offer limited capacity visits where the Big Splash Bucket and other overhead spray features are limited. You can pre-register for tickets HERE.
AMC Sensory Friendly Films – to families affected by autism on a monthly basis (see our special needs events calendar in related posts). The movies are shown with the lights up and sound turned down and sensory affected audience members are invited to get up out of their seats whenever they want. It’s an excellent way to enjoy a movie! MOVIE LISTINGS
Locally, O.A.T.S. is a wonderful non-profit here in Oakland County that uses horseback riding as a therapy for special needs riders. Most parents of Autism Spectrum Disorder children immediately see the benefit that natural horseback riding provides in the “bouncing” and “crashing” movements that stimulate spatial relations.
Local Parks – The benefit that summer DOES have over the school-based learning of the school year is the ability to spend a great deal of time outside in calm atmospheres. Summer days at any of our wonderful parks and nature centers are a great way to unwind and introduce new stimuli outside of the classroom.
My son’s greatest sensory gains at an early age came from pleasant trips to the pool. In addition to overcoming sensory issues in terms of water, we practiced a lot of spatial activity with simple games of catch with a wet, spongy nerf ball. As he was able to progress over some of the water issues, we went to water slides at our local waterparks. If problems swimming is an issue, try one of the FREE local splash pads. They’re a great place to socialize safely and get over any issues your child might have with water and different sensations.
I hope you find these Autism Spectrum Summer Therapy Tips helpful.