Summertime means newfound freedom for children everywhere. For some parents of children with autism, this freedom and the summer activities that are sure to follow can cause some anxiety or a feeling of being overwhelmed at how much there is to do. If you’re one of those parents- you’ve come to the right place.
There are plenty of things your child can do this summer to have fun, partake in structured activities, and still be safe.
We’ll start with the no-brainer: now’s a great time to get your child started in an ABA program. If your child is already receiving ABA therapy, why stop now? Children on the spectrum thrive when on a routine in a familiar environment. What we know about ABA therapy effectiveness is that it is most effective when it is intensive, meaning in a large amount and concentrated.
The Place for Children with Autism provides ABA therapy in a structured, school-like setting. This makes us a viable option if you’re looking for a way to continue your child’s development and social learning over the summer.
There’s also a variety of financial assistance options available for parents who want their child to receive ABA therapy. Here’s a few:
You can find more resources by area at Autism Support Network and get in touch with us here so we can help you through the process of finding grants. We’re more than happy to answer questions and can also help verify insurance coverage!
Sensory Friendly Events
If you’re looking for fun things to do around Chicago, you’re in luck! There are a ton of sensory friendly events in and around the city that are inclusive, and fun for the whole family. Here’s a few of our favorites:
Sensory Story Time at Chicago Public Libraries
These story times are complemented by sensory toys and a dynamic space.
They take place on both Tuesdays and Saturdays at locations around the city.
Sensory Friendly Films at AMC Theatres
These unique and inclusive movie showings turn the lights up and the sound down.
They take place every second and fourth saturday of the month.
Sensory Sensitive Sundays at Chuck-E-Cheese
These sensory friendly days make your local Chuck-E-Cheese a more inclusive environment for children with autism and other special needs.
For those days when it’s too humid to leave the house, or you just want some time inside, there’s always a plethora of at-home activities that you and your child can enjoy. These activities can also help with your child’s development or even improve their behavior at home.
Create a Sensory Safe Zone
Creating a designated space in your home for your child can provide them with an area where they feel safe, and can go to when feeling overwhelmed. We recommend populating this safe space with sensory friendly toys and anything else that makes your child feel at home.
Make an Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses can be creative and challenging in a positive way. There’s a ton of resources for obstacle course kits out on the web. For a variety of themes and indoor or outdoor ideas visit this collection of obstacle course kits and choose your favorite!
Make Screen Time Productive
If your child wants some screen time, why not make it productive? Visit Autism Parenting Magazine’s awesome list of apps and tech for kids on the spectrum and find some apps that are recreational and beneficial to your child’s learning and development.
If you schedule out your summer with a mix of these activities and structured learning, you and your child can have a fun summer that is productive and inclusive. If you need more ideas, don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @theplacechicago or reach us at our Contact page to get your questions answered.