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10 tips for parents of children with autism to help make the school holidays a positive and enjoyable experience. These tips include planning ahead, maintaining a consistent routine, finding new ways to learn, engaging in physical activity, taking breaks, encouraging socialisation, finding sensory-friendly activities, providing structure, creating a calm environment, and seeking support. By following these tips, parents can help reduce stress and anxiety for their child with autism and create a school holiday experience that is fun and rewarding.
School holidays can be a challenging time for parents of children with autism, as the change in routine and lack of structure can be overwhelming for some children. However, with some careful planning and a few simple strategies, you can make the school holidays a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone!
- Plan ahead: Make a schedule or routine for the school holidays to help your child feel more comfortable and avoid overwhelming them with too many changes. Consider your child’s needs and interests, and try to incorporate activities that will be enjoyable and engaging for them.
- Keep a consistent routine: Try to maintain a consistent routine during the school holidays, including regular mealtimes, bedtimes, and activities. This can help your child feel more secure and cope better with the change in routine.
- Find new ways to learn: Just because school is out doesn’t mean that learning has to stop! Look for opportunities for your child to learn and grow during the school holidays, such as visiting museums, participating in educational programs, or completing educational activities at home.
- Engage in physical activity: Encourage your child to be physically active during the school holidays by participating in sports, going for walks or bike rides, or playing games outside. Physical activity is not only good for your child’s physical health, but it can also help improve their mood and cognitive functioning.
- Take breaks: It’s important to give your child time to rest and relax during the school holidays. Make sure to build in breaks for rest and downtime, and encourage your child to engage in activities that they find calming, such as reading or watching a favourite movie.
- Encourage socialisation: Look for opportunities for your child to socialise with their peers during the school holidays, such as joining a sports team or club, or attending social events. Socialisation is an important part of a child’s development, and can help your child build friendships and improve their communication skills.
- Find sensory-friendly activities: Children with autism may have sensitivities to certain stimuli, such as loud noises or bright lights. Look for activities that are sensory-friendly and cater to your child’s needs. This might include visiting quiet, peaceful places, or engaging in activities that are not too stimulating.
- Provide structure: Children with autism often thrive with structure and predictability. Try to provide a consistent and structured schedule for the school holidays, and let your child know what to expect each day. This can help reduce anxiety and make the school holidays more enjoyable for your child.
- Create a calm environment: A calm and quiet environment can be helpful for children with autism, particularly during times of transition or stress. Try to create a calm and comfortable environment at home during the school holidays, and consider using calming techniques such as deep breathing or meditation to help your child relax.
- Find a program that is flexible: Look for a school holiday program that is flexible and can accommodate your child’s needs. Growing Early Minds offers a range of program options, including half-day and full-day programs, to meet the needs of families.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or need additional support during the school holidays, don’t hesitate to reach out to family, friends, or professionals for help. It’s important to take care of yourself and your own well-being in order to be able to support your child effectively.
By following these tips, you can help make the school holidays a positive and enjoyable experience for your child with autism. Remember to be patient and understanding, and to seek support when needed. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can create a school holiday experience that is fun and rewarding for your child.