Special needs moms, are you ready for summer?
Because the last day of school is fast approaching!
Many children with special needs are eligible to attend summer school, but if your school district is anything like ours, summer school is only for a half day and a few weeks.
That still leaves lots of time that our special little ones will need to be kept happy and occupied!
Many of our special children thrive on the routine of the school year.
The more relaxed schedule of summer can really wreak havoc for special needs kids and their families.
Finding meaningful and fun activities for our special kiddos can be a real challenge.
But, with a little research and careful planning you can create a special summer routine that your child will thrive on this summer.w
*(This post contains affiliate links.)
Here are some ideas for starters!
- Does your child like to read? Why not have her join your local public library reading program? There is usually a fun party scheduled to close out the program.
- Is bowling a favorite activity for your special someone? Many bowling alleys around the country participate in the Kids Bowl Free program. Check to see if there are any participating in your neighborhood.
- Schedule in a weekly date for a visit to your local playground. Make it even more fun by packing a picnic lunch.
- Invite the neighborhood kids over for a backyard arts and crafts session or host a backyard Olympics event. The other moms will love you and so will their kids. Your child just might make some new friends as an added bonus.
- A day trip to your local science, art, and/or children’s museum is sure to be a hit for any child.
- What summer is complete without at least one trip to the beach?
- Local public pools sometimes offer free swimming lessons to school-aged kids during the summer!
- Visit a nearby state nark and go for a nature hike. If you’re lucky your state may have a program similar to New York’s Access Pass. This pass allows for free entrance into any New York state park for people with disabilities and the car they are riding in.
- Is your child energetic and athletic? Your local YMCA is sure to offer some fun activities that your child will love.
- Does your child like the school year routine so much that doing summer school at home might be a comfort to him? Amazon has all kinds of workbooks that can help you keep your child learning all summer long.
- Many local parks and playgrounds host summer recreation programs for kids.
- Last but not least, is your child up for summer camp? Many states offer day and overnight camps for individuals with special needs. Some are specific to certain disabilities. Some are not. Several camp options are listed below.
- In New York state, the Family Resource Network and G&E Therapies offers a six week recreational summer camp for youth with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) free of charge to campers and their families.
- Does your special needs child dream of going to camp? Brainy Camps might be just the ticket! It’s a non-profit organization that provides residential summer camps, retreats, leadership training and transitional youth programs for children with severe chronic health conditions.
- I personally love the Wellness Gifts Retreats in Bath, New York. Hickory Hill Campground sets aside one weekend a month in the summer for a retreat for special families. The whole family can attend and each family is assigned a trained helper for their special needs member. There are speakers and fun events planned for the whole family.
- Let’s not forget Joni and Friends Family Retreats held at campgrounds in several regions throughout the United States. There are even some international retreats held in other countries.
- For more camps choices check out this list of 15 Summer Camps for Kids With Special Needs.
*A version of this post first appeared at Different Dream Living