Having a child with Asperger’s means summer can be quite a challenge. There will not be school and a regular routine so you have to make one. There are a lot of activities for kids but they might not be right for your child. It can be difficult to decide what to do.
I have come up with a few things to help this summer. My son is eight and if I let him he would spend the entire summer playing video games. I have to really try hard to get him interested in other things.
1) Pool time. He told me he loves the pool. So that was part of my reason for getting a pool pass this year. We can go whenever and stay for however long and it is fine. We can go almost everyday. He will also do swim lessons in July.
2) Daily chore. I require my boys to do a daily chore during the summer before they can play any video games. This works really well for my son with Asperger’s and he is usually the only one of my three to ask about the chore vs me telling him. I base the chores on what needs to be done around the house. Does the living room need to be picked up? Can you help me with the dishes?
3) Snacks.My son is a very picky eater and I learned that I need to make sure I have a snack for him that he will eat. While my other two will pretty much gobble anything down that I pack I have to make sure to include something he will actually eat. If I don’t, he gets a little grumpy. Not full on meltdown mode but still. It just makes things easier. I pack snacks and drinks every morning so we always have something on hand when we go places.
4) Days at home. This is a hard one. He craves a full day at home when he doesn’t have one for a while. I get it, I really do. I somtimes need that downtime as well. I am trying to balance that one out with daily activities outside of the house. I think my plan is to stay home on some days when we don’t have plans and the weather is bad. This will help him and help me handle him a little better.
5) Listening. As you probably know, when someone has Asperger’s, they tend to talk about what they are into all of the time. I am really trying to listen to my son this summer because he gets really excited about certain things and I want him to know that I care. It’s hard sometimes because I am not always interested in what he is interested in but I am trying my best to listen and hear what he has to say. I also ask him how he is feeling about the week. It gives me a good idea of how he is doing and what type of mood he is in depending on the types of activities we did.
What about you? Do you have a special needs child home for the summer? What are you doing to help them during their time off from school?