3 Tips to Stay on Track this Summer for Young Adults with ASD and Learning Differences
Summertime is upon us. Students winding down from a long school year can take a deep breath. If you’re a parent or guardian of a teenager on the spectrum or with learning differences, you may be alternatively excited or anxious, depending upon what programming is available.
Maybe your high schooler wants to travel, go to camp, or just catch up on movies and TV shows from the living room couch. All viable, but if your goal is to use this time to develop some transition skills or post-secondary planning, try thinking about these three tips.
1. Develop a routine:
Summer routines will likely be less structured and more flexible than the routine followed during the academic school year. Still, a schedule is a way to organize your day and create a road map. Try keeping the morning routine and evening routine consistent.
Having a daily to-do list or schedule lends itself to a feeling of productivity by highlighting tangible results with a simple check. So, it’s important to include some simple daily tasks and responsibilities that are easy to accomplish and learn to roll over into the next day anything that didn’t get completed.
2. Take on something new:
Without the demands of the academic school year, the summer break leaves room to explore new things. Work with your young adult to choose between a variety of new activities, new places to visit, or to even taste a new food. Make a list and ask them to choose. Keep it fun and simple. Maybe just try walking backwards, if that’s something they’ve never done before. Learning to embrace novel experiences may require direct instruction. With some planning ahead of time, the summer can present a variety of opportunities for new experiences.
3. Embrace a healthy lifestyle:
Introduce a mindfulness training or exercise regime that your child can manage independently over time. It may start out as a family experience, but have independence as the target goal. Connect the dots as to why exercise, stress management and mindfulness are essential to a balanced lifestyle. Build these activities into your young adult’s daily routine.
Enjoy your Summer!