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Preparing for the Summer. Robin Talley, MEd, BCBA. What will we talk about today?. Common challenges experienced when transitioning from school to long breaks Getting ready for summer Strategies and activities for summer Strategies Activities Extended School Year (ESY). Common Challenges.
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Preparing for the Summer • Robin Talley, MEd, BCBA
What will we talk about today? • Common challenges experienced when transitioning from school to long breaks • Getting ready for summer • Strategies and activities for summer • Strategies • Activities • Extended School Year (ESY)
Summer Break From a Mother’s Perspective… • All of this changed last week with the last day of school, also known around our house as "The Last Day of Sarah's Vacation." Really, who thought summer vacation for kids was a good idea? Waiting in the pick-up line at school on that last day, you could actually see the dread on the parents' faces. This was in stark contrast to the giddy excitement expressed by the teachers, who were looking forward to a much deserved three months off.I had hoped that my children would be sent home with instructions clipped to their book bag so that I could remember how to care for them. Something like "Ford has his snack at 10:30," would have been helpful. Or, "Remind Owen to wash his hands after using the bathroom." This feeling of certain forthcoming ineptitude reminded me of another last day, a mother's last day in the hospital, when the nursing staff releases you into the world with your newborn baby, and you think, "but the instruction manual is missing from this one!“ • Excerpt from “Summer Vacations Challenges Moms” • By Sarah Smiley
Challenges for Caregivers • Find activities and care that are: • Fun • Safe • Educational • Individualized • Affordable
Challenges for Caregivers • Maintain skills learned at school • Create social opportunities • Plan/prepare successful vacations • Manage breaks from school with work demands
Challenges for Children • Transitions • Too much unstructured time • Out of routine • Lack of motivation to learn • May not have skills to keep occupied, play alone, play with others, or make good choices
Challenges for Children • Too many distractions • Increased access to preferred activities – video games, televisions, etc • Overwhelming and stressful new environments • New expectations
What can you do now? • Prepare children while they are still in school… • Research camps and activities your child would benefit from and enjoy • Ask about ESY • Get child’s teacher involved…get a list or information about: • Common classroom activities • Classroom schedule • Classroom expectations • Suggestions or ideas for community activities
What can you do now? • Start a countdown – summer break calendar • Make cards for friends and teachers • Talk about summer break and what to expect • Involve children!! • What do you they want to do? • What do they need to be successful? • Who do they want to see during summer break? • Where do they want to go?
Read Books: Pictures Books • Read books about summer break, taking vacations and summer-themed books: • The Night Before Summer Vacation by Natasha Wing • How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague • Go Go America by Dan Yaccarino • Last Day Blues by Julie Danneberg • A Couple of Boys Have The Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee • To Be Like the Sun By Susan Marie Swanson • Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett
Read Books: Middle-Aged Books • Read books about summer and summer activities: • The Aurora County All Stars By Deborah Wiles • The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower by Lisa Graff • Violet Bing and the Grand House by Jennifer Paros • Greeting From Nowhere by Barbara O’Connor • Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford
Create Structure and Predictability • Transition from a full day of activities offered at school to a day with little structure can be difficult… • Strategies to maintain structure: • Use a daily visual schedule (even if you don’t use one during the school year) • Create a routine • Use visual support • Start summer-long responsibilities • Set times for activities/responsibilities to occur
Developing a Schedule • Schedules should tell the child, in a way that he/she can understand, what activities will occur and in what order • Visual schedules help increase independence and predictability • Schedules should be arranged from top to bottom or from left to right • Create a schedule similar to one used in school setting • Pictures? • Words? • Time?
Developing a Schedule • Alternate new or difficult tasks or activities with easier and/or more enjoyable tasks • Post schedule in a prominent location • Schedule choice and down-time • Plan for unexpected changes in activities or delays • Use it everyday!!
Create a Routine • Plan activities that happen the same way each day • Getting ready for the day • Setting up daily schedule • School related/academic tasks • Repeat field trips each week: • Monday : park • Tuesday: library • Wednesday: special outing • Thursday: hiking • Friday: play-dates • Create a sense of familiarity • Select activities that require similar skills but in different locations • Re-visit favorite locations
Create a Routine • Set expectations in advance • Use visuals – simple and easy to access • Photos • Social stories • Drawings • List of reminders/rules • Schedules • Focus on predictability • What will we do? • How long or how much? • When is it finished? • What happens next?
Visual Supports • What are visual supports? • Anything that we see in our environment that gives us more information. • Any visual information in the environment that supports teaching and assists an individual with understanding, learning, and functioning.
When should I use visual supports? • OFTEN!!! • Visual supports enhance learning • Use visuals to minimize control struggles • Use visuals to increase structure and predictability
Considerations when makingvisual supports… • Individualize!! • Consider the client’s: • Cognitive functioning • Language skills (receptive, expressive, written) • Preferences and interests
First/Then Boards • First-Then Boards give children clear expectations and help motivate and assist with task completion. • Place a picture of the activity or activities the child needs to complete under “first”. • Place a picture of the rewarding or preferred activity under “then.”
First/Then Board Example First Then First Then
Checklists and Reminders • Checklists will: • Add clarity and organization • Increase independence and confidence • Encourage self-management and self-regulation
Social Stories Social Stories™ were developed by Carol Gray, President of The Gray Center. A Social Story™ describes a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses. Information taken from The Gray Center website: http://thegraycenter.org/social-stories
Social Stories • Social stories are: • Written from the perspective of the client • Provides information the client might be lacking • Highly visual • Should be individually tailored to the client’s interests and level of language
Example Social Story • Social Story on iPad – Stories2Learn Application for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
Visual Support Resources • Visual supports can be created from person photos, pictures from magazines, drawings, etc • Microsoft provides free pictures from Clip Art • Free picture cards, schedules, calendars, and more can be made on the internet • Do2Learn: http://www.do2learn.com/
Summer-Long Responsibilities • Involve child in assigning responsibilities • Use rewards and contingencies to ensure responsibilities are completed • Select responsibilities that will be successful • Examples: • Chores • Academic tasks • Summer long projects – gardening, scrapbook of summer activities
Set Times • Set expectations for when activities will occur • Be consistent • Set times for: • Wake-up • Sleep • Meal times • Routine activities
Summer Activities: At Home • Schedule play-dates • Have a treasure hunt • Write a story together • Create an indoor or outdoor obstacle course • Play board games • Camp in your yard • Cook together • Gardening
Summer Activities: Any Age • Visit local museums – article: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/outdoors/2013850270_nwwhighlight06.html • $1 AMC Summer Camp: http://www.amctheatres.com/smc/ • Kids Bowl Free: http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/
Summer Activities: Young Children • U-Village Play Days: http://www.uvillage.com/village-playdays/ • Seattle Parks and Recreation Toddler Open Gym: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/children/play.htm • Wading Pools: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/wadingpools.asp
Summer Activities: Older Children • Seattle Parks and Recreation Teen Calendar: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/teens/default.htm • Seattle Parks and Recreation Summer Sports and Programs: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/Athletics/youthsummer.htm
Summer Camps • UW Autism Center Summer Camps: http://depts.washington.edu/uwautism/index.php • Ryther Child Center – Aspiring Youth Program: http://www.aspiringyouth.net/ • Blue Compass Summer Camps: http://bluecompasscamps.com/ • UW Summer Youth Programs: http://www.summer-camp.uw.edu/
Other Community Resources • FEAT of Washington Recreation Resource Guild: http://www.featwa.org/ResourceGuide/Resource_Guide_Recreation.html • UW Autism Center Toll-Free Information and Resource line: 1.877.408.UWAC • Seattle Parks and Recreation: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/ • Seattle Children’s Camp Directory: http://cshcn.org/resources-contacts/summer-camp-directory
Extended School Year (ESY) • What is ESY? • Extended School Year (ESY) is a special education service that provides services to students beyond the standard 180-day school year in order to maintain a student’s learned skills or behavior. • ESY is not intended to be used to teach new skills or behaviors • Students must qualify for ESY
ESY • How is the decision made whether a student requires ESY services? • The IEP team decides whether or not the student requires ESY services • Without a recommendation from the IEP team, ESY services will not be provided • The decision is based upon three criteria: regression, recoupment and critical learning