Transitioning to Summer for Autism

June 5, 2024
Transitioning to Summer for Autism

Children with autism may find this supposed exciting change a bit more challenging than most others, especially if they are used to a predictable schedule of events, lessons, and activities. Being able to transition to the summer season while keeping somewhat of a schedule is key, so today we have a few tips to keep your summer as enjoyable as possible!

  • 1) Keep a Schedule

The Autism Therapy Group suggests that keeping a regular schedule is one of the most important things parents can do for children with autism, regardless of the time of year. During the summer, keeping your child on a regular schedule can keep them from triggering their anxiety, as well as keep them on track with their already highly-structured schedule when they’re used to being at school or therapy. Or, if your child will start going to therapy full-time or even part-time for the summer, start incorporating transitions that will be more suited for their ongoing schedule.

  • 2) Use Visuals and Social Stories

In addition to keeping a schedule, a blog from Autism Speaks suggests incorporating visuals can help remind children when it comes to transitioning to a new activity. Something as simple as using a timer on your phone or watch to let them know its time to transition. If your child is nonverbal or uses very few words, consider shaping your schedule using pictures of the activities or events that they will be doing throughout the day. Or if you’re going to a place with several different activities, set the images out for your child to pick from and place them on a card for their social story. Or even use your phone for ease of access while out and about!

  • 3) Ask for Help!

We can all get frustrated at times, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Reach out to family members, friends, or even fellow parents of children with autism to plan activities or play dates. See if your community provides or organizes local events that your child can participate in, and maybe see if you can do it with them! Or, if you’re looking for some down time yourself, consider hiring a babysitter, either a family member, friend, or someone from your therapy center or online site such as Remember to take care of yourself too!

  • 4) Take Your Time, It Won’t Always Be Perfect

Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and that’s ok! Having set start and end times are one thing, but sometimes activities will end early, run late, or not even happen at all! Allowing a ‘padding’, so to speak, will allow you to worry less about your child’s schedule and activities. If things don’t go to plan, or an unexpected interruption happens, use positive reinforcements where you can to lighten the mood, and get into the fun when you can!!

  • 5) HAVE FUN!!!

It’s summer after all, so make sure to try and enjoy your child’s activities as much as you can! No matter if you’re home a lot or on the road constantly, take time to relax and get into the spirit and enjoy the summertime with your child!

Check out more information from these sources!