How We Can Avoid the Summer Slide

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As summer trucks along and the school year starts to approach, you like many other parents start to think about the transition back to school and/or where you child is on their academics.

Families also use the summer time as a period of time to continue academic and skill gains from the previous school year.

They’ll even work on IEP goals to keep their child on track.

In today’s post, I’ll recommend a few ways you can avoid the summer slide, keep your child on track, and get them ready for the upcoming school year by the end of the summer.

Summer is a significant break in time from school and often children experience something called the summer slide (not the scientific term, obviously!), but autistic children can especially experience it at a higher level than their peers for a few reasons.

One being the lack of reinforcement of academic skills.

Our kiddos benefit from generalizing skills they’ve learned in one setting to others and this includes repetition of skills.

Another is the shift in routines can show up at first when they arrive at school at the start of the school year.

Being at school is not just an academic focus for our kids on the spectrum, the areas that they have challenges in also appear while they are at school.

That’s another reason why they have IEPs.

And just by the nature of autism, your child may have varying challenges in social interactions, communication, organization, executive functioning, school readiness, and adaptive, and coping skills in addition to some need in academic areas.

Here are a few recommendations for you to consider to avoid the summer slide and keep your child intellectually, socially, and all things listed above stimulated.


FIND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

This includes games and apps.

Here are a list of apps you can download (some you will have to purchase, either straight from the app store or within the app)


Use your child’s IEP.

I’ve done that with both of my brothers.

They had similar reading comprehension goals, some counting, and things like that.

To focus on these skills I created a work time or reading time where we did these.


You can easily collect data too. Based on how the goal is written, that will give you an idea of how your child’s teacher collects data for their goals.

Or if you’re still in school, you can ask them for a copy of their data collection procedures too.



GET OUT INTO YOUR COMMUNITY


Plenty of programs. And growing in every community.

A great community-based activity too.

Some are great spaces to spread out. To go on the computer (hey, sometimes it’s just nice to be out of the house).

To grab a few books to read together. Gives you child a chance to make their own choices when it comes to books and maybe movies.

Libraries also have planned activities for the summer that you and your child may want to participate in.

Like summer reading challenges.


CREATE/JOIN PEER GROUPS


What’s your child’s classmates up to this summer. If your child is in the separate setting at school - you may more than likely know their classmates’ families. See what they’re doing and if you can set up times to hang out.

Local autism organizations will also have things available. Which can be a great option if your child needs less supports.


INCORPORATE ANY AND ALL OF THE ABOVE INTO YOUR ROUTINE

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What are your plans to avoid the summer slide? Let us know below and let’s chat in the Facebook community!