SUMMER.

The Glorious three month period where there is no school, no work, no school stress.

Usually there are plans made for vacations, camps, clubs and summer team sports. Amidst the pandemic, so much has changed and for many activities that were once a guarantee are now either not available or have been made to change form.

For my son, Michael, his beloved basketball 3 v 3 league is not part of summer, he is adjusting to not having something that he loves.

But what about those with special needs? What and how do we help them navigate yet another series of losses and changes?

For us, we explained to Elizabeth why she cannot go back to her job yet….and why she will get tutored but not for a while….and why she cannot help out at the preschool camps.

We talked early and often and it s great she understood about it all but that still leaves us with time and sometimes a lot of anxiety from her mostly from her sensory processing disorder ( SPD) as she adjusts but also from simply feeling the anxiety from day to day life.

We are making great use of our weighted blanket, sensory light and vibrating pillow. Elizabeth will let me know when she needs a break, which is great but there are times when her emotions get the best of her and I am the one to initiate the break that helps her sensory needs.

I think that if your child has a sensory diet and trust me, this adjustment to the new schedule/no schedule of summer could be a time when you take a look at your sensory bin and see what you can use during these months.

Driveway chalk to make a hopscotch- hopping and jumping is really good sensory input.

Bubbles to blow or stomp in

Driveway paint to encourage creativity and use up some energy on that large “canvas”

Pillows to lay under like a fort

Finger paints for sensory input for a rainy day.

A good long bubble bath to relax after all the painting.

Popsicles, if they are allowed, to “wake up” the mouth and lips

So many regular day to day items can be find a new purpose to help your child find fun in their day as well as help their neurological system regulate itself.

I will tell you that the swing set in the backyard has seen HOURS of use as it helps Elizabeth stay in a calmer state. Really, HOURS! But that is okay because we all have learned our own ways of dealing with stress in these unprecedented times.

Please visit our site for ideas that could help your child and their sensory needs….maybe you will find a nice addition to your sensory items.

I wish everyone good luck as we navigate a new path!

I wear a mask for my mom and others who could get very ill.

Michele Gianetti author of:

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

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Journey Continues

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