Another special post for our special needs kids: For those of us in the northeast, while it may not feel like it, spring break is upon us. Some of us, like myself, may be traveling to warmer places and others are busy planning a staycation at home. In any event, routines and schedules will be pushed to the wayside for several days. Deviations from the daily routine can be a difficult transition for any child, but for a child with special needs, change can be traumatic. As such, it is important to try to maintain as much of the regular routine as possible. Therefore, I have composed a list of tips and ideas designed to help you continue your daily schedule. I encourage you to post your ideas as well. Happy Spring!
1. Remind your child that there will be no school or regular activities. Don’t spring it on him. He needs time to process and adjust. If you will be going out of town, let your child help you pack his suitcase (if this is age-appropriate). This will serve as a reminder that change is coming and gives him some autonomy.
2. Have a plan for each day. While it may not be set in stone, have an outline and go over it with your child so she knows what to expect. This will help limit anxiety, particularly for a child with autism.
3. Stick to your regular bedtime routine. This can be tough, especially if you are traveling, but sleep deprivation leads to lower immunity and cranky kids. This combination doesn’t make for an enjoyable vacation.
4. Whether traveling or at home, try to keep to a typical morning schedule. Get dressed and have breakfast as you would on any school day. Then get outside and take a walk and see what’s blooming or go to the park. If you are out of town, go sight seeing.
5. Plan activities that will get everyone moving. This will be especially helpful for kids who attend physical therapy and would miss sessions. Take a family bike ride, go for a swim, or plant some flowers.
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