I know that the calendar says February.

Actually, soon to say March but something to consider is that it is nearing the time for a fast forward peek at the calendar to June.

Other wise known as Summer.

Otherwise known as the time when all the children are home and the schedules we have grown accustomed to are not more……

For many years when Elizabeth was younger, I used to try to start planning her summer activities in late May.  I thought that it was a bit better that way, you know kind of like I thought I would, by then, have a bit of a better handle of my world’s activities to REALLY plan her days.

….and things did not go so well.

Preschool programs were full, therapies were not scheduled at ideal times for her, we did not get the swim instructor we knew would be the best for her and so on…

So after a couple summers of doing this … and don’t ask me why I made this mistake again…I moved up my initial planning to early Spring.

WHY

When you have a child with special needs, there are usually so many things to consider when making any plans, that having your plans narrowed down for you by being late to the party, is so stressful.   I know with Elizabeth’s sensory processing disorder( SPD) and her global dyspraxia, it was and in truth, still is, so important to make sure that all those working with her understand her and her needs.  That they will work with us, that they will believe in her abilities as we do.

Having few choices increases my anxiety so starting early helps me a great deal.

WHO

By this I mean, who will your child be seeing.  Coaches, camp directors, therapists?  I know there are many things our children HAVE to do, but summer can be a time to add the things they WANT to do.  So if possible, include your child in the initial conversations about summer.  Maybe, is possible, ask them or communicate with them about what they might like to do and what things they really do NOT want to do.  This allows for them to enjoy summer activities …just like the neurotypical peers get to do.  Not always was this possible when Elizabeth was very young, but I know we tried.

WHAT

If it is a camp you are looking for, check your local newspapers and our you local parenting magazine to read about camps or day programs in your area.  You will, for sure, have time to call and ask specifics.  Or if your child needs tutoring, you can set it up at the time that works best for you and on days that YOU need most.  Once we ended up at 5:00 as our time and it was just awful because she was so tired.  Lessons of any sort can be read about or investigated with time on your side as well as sports programs.  When you have time, there can be a sense of calm instead of intensity.  The same goes for making sure to find sitters or companions  for your child.

 

WHERE

Starting early lets you look at programs that are close to you and also gives you the chance to decide just how far you are willing to travel for a certain therapy or class NOT how far you MUST travel as you don’t have a choice.

WHEN

Since a lot of programs can have 2 summer sessions, it is nice to be able to take a look at the whole summer and kind have an overview of the entire thing.  This allows me to see when/if we take a vacation, just where it would fall on a camp/sport’s program schedule.  This kind of planning keeps the “oops” from happening.

Also a thought, as you are making these initial plans, it is the time to ask about THEIR plans.  When do they think they will go on vacation or take days off.  This helps you plan and make a plan B for those times.  Kind of keeping surprises on the minimal side

I know that the Peeps have just hit the shelves, but keeping June in mind will help when June is really here.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of:

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues