Summer Preparation: 8 Steps
Are you ready for summer?
If you’re like most parents of children with special needs, summer arrangements for your children must be made well in advance.
This year, don’t wait until the last minute to read those materials, make those phone calls, and fill out those forms. Eliminate the stress of looming deadlines by scheduling some uninterrupted, focused time to take care of your summer plans.
Take a look at your calendar and find a block of time – perhaps an hour or more – this week. Reserve that time for summer planning. Here are some things you may want to consider as you put your summer plans in place:
Therapy – What therapies will your child need to continue over the summer? Which ones can be put on hold? What are the therapists’ summer schedules?
Summer school/classes/lessons – What forms need to be filled out? What accommodations can be made, if necessary?
Sitters – Will you need time with the sitter to go over summertime routines and how-to’s? What are your expectations for the time your sitter will spend with your children this summer?
Daycare – Do you need to fill out any special permission forms? Will the care providers need any special warm-weather-related instructions?
Camps – Are their medical records you’ll need to submit with the camp application? Will you need to meet with the camp director and/or staff to discuss your child’s needs? Printable “About My Camper Form.”
Vacation – If you’re traveling for vacation this summer, which hotels are the most family friendly? Which activities and destinations have accommodations or special programs for children with special needs?
Respite Care – Do you need to take a break? There are a growing number of excellent respite care programs that you may want to investigate. Remember to “care for the caregiver” — replenish your own inner reserves with some time off to relax, recharge, and renew.
Downtime – block out dates and times on the summer calendar NOW for downtime. I know, it seems paradoxical to have to schedule downtime! But downtime is essential to the well-being of everyone in the family. Make it a priority by providing regular time to just “be.”
You’re going to feel great about having all the summer preparations done in advance!
Joan Celebi is the founder of SpecialNeedsParentCoach.com, and the author of Overwhelmed No More! The Complete System for Balanced Living for Parents of Children with Special Needs. You can sign up for Joan’s FREE Overwhelmed No More Newsletter, Lunchtime Teleseminars, and more! Visit www.SpecialNeedsParentCoach.com/ and click on “Free Resources.”
This article originally appeared in the Mar/Apr 2012 issue of Parenting Special Needs magazine.