Planning for Summer Fun

By Tonia Ferguson
Director, Autism NOW Center

School’s out and summer is in! The month of May flew by with Mother’s Day being the highlight for many; now, June is here and Father’s Day is quickly approaching. Many parents are in survival mode when it comes to summer because of all the summer activities. From the campground to Disney, to pool parties, or to the stay-cation planned at the end of summer, the summer break is filled with many activities that fill the calendar.

Planning and preparing for your summer is crucial to enjoying the jam packed schedule. Whether you have one child or six, a plan is always helpful to making summer lively, enriching and – most importantly – fun for all. A planning summer guide can come to the rescue when dealing with the weekly outings, recreation time, or vacation by allowing you as a parent to appreciate the summer months without feeling guilty for not being more productive. For some suggestions for on planning a summer vacation for a family with special needs, check out Jennifer Sladen’s article in this newsletter.

To be honest, I’m really looking forward to some intentional and planned down time this summer for my son and I to read some great books, organize the closet and get caught up on daily tasks. By taking an intentional break from the stress of the school year, I am giving myself and my son time to recharge and refresh, and I hope that you will be able to do the same.

I know you love your kids and want them to be happy and productive this summer and throughout the year. Unfortunately as parents, you are well aware that things happen to your children that are beyond your control. As much as you want your child to be happy, unfortunate incidents like bullying may impact their happiness and well-being. In her article, Amy Goodman, Co-Director, Autism NOW is going to share with you information on bullying, some signs to help detect bullying, and suggestions to protect your child if they have been bullied.

Regardless of the situation, summer is a time for family, fun, and free time to explore your community, and most importantly planning. Happiness and productivity over the summer go hand-in-hand and your kids will appreciate all you do for them during the summer season.

Plan, Appreciate, and Relax! Are you ready for summer fun?

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One thought on “Planning for Summer Fun

  1. Everybody is dancing, laughing, clapping… We are celebrating my son’s 20th birthday; as I see him dancing with his girlfriend..I stop and smile..We have come a long way; to think, that 4 years ago, my son David, turned from a sweet boy to an angry teenager..He would cry, scream, throw stuff around the house, kick and punch doors..He even started hurting himself. He would cry to me saying…”Mom, please help me..I have no friends..I’ll never have a girlfriend..I’m a disgrace”.. That would just rip me apart inside..He was frustrated and so was I. Things were getting out of hand and I didn’t know what to do……………………… One day,talking to the mother of one of David’s classmate; we decided to form a social club…and finally, things started to turn around………….Rosa threw a sweet sixteen party for her daughter; all the kids were so happy , getting ready for the big event…David didn’t have one outburst that week, which was a miracle for us…they ended up having a blast at the party… The following friday, I picked up 7 of David’s high functioning friends, and we went to ” hang out” at the movies, “like the regular kids” ( in the words of my son). This was the frist time they had ever gone to the movies, with friends, and they would not stop laughing and talking, just been the teenagers that they so deperately craved to be. Now , we go out every weekend… we go to movies, bowling, to the mall, we have pool parties, or birthday parties, like my son’s 20th birthdy party, where they danced all night ,at the beats of the DJ.
    We need more programs, like this one, out there…yes, there are programs for them , when they are kids, but what about their social skills, their happiness??…Our teens with Autism, or down syndrome..need help; they get lonely, they want attention, they want friends.
    our club is growing, we went from 7 to 27 teens. I am very proud of our club.I think of my “kids” like butterflies..that just got their wings.

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