Summer Survival Plan for Kids with Special Needs

Here in Florida, schools let out on Tuesday for that long, long break until the third week of August. The month of May, chaotic on any given year was even more so with two of my kids graduating college and high school. Plus multiple end-of-the-school-year festivities. Plus three root canals (I was too far gone for the holistic stuff.) And in the middle of all this a brand new diagnosis to come to terms with and read about.

This time of year always gets stressful but somehow I manage to block it out until it’s that first week where Nic is home from school and all hell is breaking loose. Why the stress?

* He loves school, his friends,  and the cool field trips. He’s now home with his dystonian mother with the shaky head who can’t drive him to the beach.

* He needs structure. I’m a free spirit who is incapable of sticking to a routine for more than a day.

*It’s freaking hot down here. He barely sweats and has to be watched closely outside so he doesn’t overheat.

*Florida summers also mean wild lightning storms, keeping an eye on the hurricane/ tropical storm forecast, lurking pygmy rattlers, water moccasins, mosquitos and fire ants. And singing frogs.

So what do we have going on this summer?

Well, he just had his OT evaluation today and was pronounced to be really in need of services. That’s no surprise after years of 30-60 minutes a week of OT in the public school system for years. His sister needs OT too but we have to wait for some paperwork to go through. Thankfully, they are holding the spot for her.

His new bike – It came last week and he’s thrilled to be riding it. He does have low tone to contend with but I think his will and determination will overcome that.

Special Needs summer Survival

Four weeks of camp – We’re fortunate in Florida to have several special needs camps that he can participate in as well as a couple of church-based respite programs.

Respite – I’m lucky enough to have respite in a state where the average wait time for services is 10 years. It took my dystonia diagnosis to get it and there are many days I’d give the hours back not to have dystonia anymore but that is the hand I have been dealt. God has provided for me in this way and I’m grateful.

Swimming happens at the YMCA.

And a beach trip. Lord, I can’t wait.

What are your summer survival tips?