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Transitioning to Summer with Ease

Transitions can be hard for many of us, even more so for individuals with autism, ADHD, or other special needs. The school year provides a structure that can be very beneficial for individuals with special needs. While this last school year may have looked very different for many, it continued to provide the structure of a schedule, breaks, and variations between school time, downtime, and weekdays versus weekends.

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A woman and daughter happy about transitioning to summer with ease.

With the summer break already upon us, it can create some challenges to structure, schedules, activities, and maybe even create a little bit of chaos. Summer break can require a lot of planning and effort to find activities, camps, services, and other resources to keep kids busy. This can be even harder for individuals with special needs that need additional time to adjust to transitions. Families also need to plan ahead of time for the transition.

How to Plan to Transition to Summer with Ease

A good rule of thumb (in my playbook) is to plan and give yourself and your family plenty of time to transition from the school year to the summer break. It can be a lot less stressful to start planning early.

Think about how your child with special needs responds best to transitions and what supports are beneficial to help them transition. These can be things like social stories, visual schedules, verbal and visual reminders, or talking about the upcoming transition.

A father using visual remainders to help his son.

Supports used to help with the transition can be more general at first, but then should get more specific as the date to transition approaches.

Predictability is a key factor. Supports used should help increase predictability and let the individual know what is going to happen. This is where you can begin to add in any activities, camps, or services that will be taking place.

Start to include activities, camps, or services in any visual calendars or schedules used to help with predictability and preparation. Seeing the activity, camp, or service on the calendar can help the individual to begin any necessary preparations.

A woman with a special needs girl having an activity together.

Involve individuals in the preparation, if any is needed. This not only teaches different skills but can help ease any anxiety or worries that may arise.

It’s important to be consistent and continue to use the supports you put in place to transition. This can help make the summer break run smoother and provide some structure.

Need Help?

We are happy to help with the transition to summer or if you are looking for services for the summer. Contact us to schedule a FREE consultation.