Summer can be a stressful time for some moms for multiple reasons, if you're a working mom, finding a babysitter for your child during the summer can be a challenge. For stay at homes moms, having the children 24/7 and having to entertain them all day can be another daunting task. However, if you have a child with special needs, phew, extremely challenging.
The responsibility of the child is on the mom all summer, it is difficult to get a break on a daily basis, and having to administer medication, and deal with behavioral and medical issues on a daily basis can be very tiring physically and emotionally. Also, a fact some children thrive on routine and schedule, and lack of structure in the summer can be difficult for some children to transition to the summer schedule. The time spent taking care of the children, takes away from other tasks that are required when children are at school (calling insurance companies, getting referrals, finding new providers, ordering medication/medical supplies).
Finding the right respite/babysitter for your child can be very difficult because it requires special training and experience and costs can be a deterrent for some families, With that said, this guide will help reduce your stress and lessen the load this summer, so you can sail through the summer in ease.
1. MARK THE DATES - School district calendars are given out in advance, note the duration of summer break.
2. SCHEDULE - Summer is a great way to plan your child's follow-ups, procedures, tests, surgeries, and therapy assessments because you don't have to pull your child out of school, which makes it the best time to schedule all you can at this time.
3. RESUME - If your child is already in weekly therapies (occupational/physical/speech) it's a great idea, to resume over the summer as well, to prevent regression, continue with a routine, and keep the child busy. Now there's a CAVEAT- if your child is burning out and reached a plateau in therapies, summer can be an opportunity for a "brain break" but discuss this with your child's therapist if this would be a good option for you.
4. SUMMER CLASSES/CAMPS - Look into summer recreational classes, camps, or adaptive sports that may be of interest to your child.
5. CATCH UP - I can't stress this one enough, use this valuable time to have your child work on ADL (activities of daily functioning), any skill that needs extra practice, or acquiring a new skill, summer is the best time to work on it. Make a list of skills your child needs extra help on (Examples: tying shoelaces, making the bed, folding their laundry, learning how to floss their teeth). OR academics, if your child needs help in a particular area, set some time aside to practice to ensure your child doesn't regress and can sharpen the expertise in that subject.
6. DEDICATE TIME FOR YOURSELF - It's important to prioritize self-care and relaxation during the summer break. Planning ahead can help ensure you have time for yourself, meeting friends, and personal appointments. Don't forget to schedule some fun activities too!
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