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Summer – a time of warmth, joy, and endless outdoor fun. For many, it’s the most anticipated season of the year. As parents of children with autism, it’s understandable if you find yourself experiencing a unique set of concerns. With the change in routine, potential sensory overload, and safety issues that the season can bring, summer might seem overwhelming. However, careful planning and a few simple safety measures can help transform this season into a delightful and safe experience for your child with autism.
Creating Comfort through Structure and Planning
For many children with autism, structure isn’t just preferable – it’s essential. The routine shake-up that the summer season brings can sometimes be challenging to navigate. That’s why crafting a reliable, predictable summer routine can help your child adjust to the summer rhythm more easily. This routine can include simple things like regular meal times, designated periods for play, and consistent sleep schedules.
If need be, use visual aids or social stories to aid your child in understanding what to expect. New activities and environments can be easier to handle when introduced slowly and gradually.
Water Safety: Ensuring a Splash Without the Crash
Summertime and water fun go hand in hand. But water can be a double-edged sword, bringing joy on one side and potential danger on the other, particularly for children with autism who may be drawn to it.
Consider enrolling your child in swimming lessons designed for children with special needs. If swimming isn’t an option, floating is a crucial skill that could be a lifesaver. Remember, vigilance is critical – always supervise your child when they’re around water, regardless of their swimming proficiency.
Empty all inflatable pools, buckets, or tubs after use. It’s a simple step that can prevent unnecessary accidents.
On the Move: Bike and Scooter Safety
Biking or scootering isn’t just about having a good time; it’s also an excellent way for your child to hone their motor skills. However, as with any activity, safety comes first.
Ensure your child always sports a helmet that fits snugly. Basic road rules aren’t just for drivers; make sure your child knows how to keep to the right side of the road and stay visible to motorists and pedestrians.
General Safety Tips: Equip, Educate, and Empower
In the hustle and bustle of summer fun, it’s easy to forget basic safety measures. But these fundamentals can make a world of difference in your child’s safety.
Teach them how to safely cross the street – using crosswalks, looking both ways before stepping off the curb, and making eye contact with drivers.
Investing in an autism safety bracelet can be a wise decision, particularly for children prone to wandering. These bracelets can be inscribed with your child’s name, your contact information, and relevant autism details that can help others provide appropriate help if needed.
Don’t Forget the Fun!
While safety is paramount, summer is all about fun, laughter, and making memories. Planning activities that your child enjoys and feels comfortable with is essential. Gradually introducing them to new places and activities can prevent them from feeling overwhelmed and foster a sense of adventure.
Every child with autism is unique, so it may take a bit of trial and error to find what activities and safety measures work best for your child. Remember, the aim is to keep them safe and make sure they relish every moment of their summer. So, while you might have to try a few different things before you find what works best for your child, the effort is well worth it. With each new experience, your child learns, grows, and becomes more prepared for the world – and that’s something to celebrate.
If you need further support or tips to keep your child with autism safe this summer, consider starting ABA therapy. Sign up for more tips like these, tailored to help you navigate this journey with confidence and peace of mind. At Circle Care Services, we assist with personalized goals that support specific outings or trips. Together, we can ensure this summer is not just safe, but also filled with joyful moments and lasting memories. Happy summer!