Parents from Perth Autism Support give below some examples of strategies, tips and pointers that they use during the summer holidays with their children.

  • Use timetables – a lot of parents suggested this as a really good strategy
  • Keep structure
  • Use social stories where appropriate
  • Sensory things – be aware that lots of different things can change with the warmer weather – lighter nights, noise of insects, wearing suntan lotion, feeling hotter, sand in your shoes at the beach, wearing short sleeve clothes, sandals instead of shoes and the list goes on……… some of these things could be irritants and increase your child’s stress levels.
  • When C was younger we would use a week planner, where we had a cork board up on the wall. At the weekend we would sit down and do “planning” for the week ahead. This helped C know what was going to be coming up, and he could start preparing. We would stick on symbols against each day for places, little photographs for people, and any other bits and pieces relevant to the activities throughout the day. Sometimes C would show a bit of stress if something planned was then changed at the last minute, so how effective this was I suppose remained questionable. But it certainly worked for him knowing about his week ahead. Now, at age 14, C doesn’t want or need the cork board but we do still have to discuss the weeks ahead in detail and have reminder discussions the night before.
  • Be prepared early. Timetables are good. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Plan activities together and make sure they’re fulfilled
  • Don’t over-schedule. G likes a few chill out days relaxing at home!
  • Make sure, if planning a big day out that you can definitely carry through the plan.
  • Take a packed lunch if you are unable to stop by a favourite food place.
  • Cafés are often willing to make up a plain filled sandwich or at least offer a buttered roll if you explain the situation
  • Don’t be upset if the day out is not appreciated!
  • Remember, if you claim D.L.A. for your child, you can get a C.E.A. card which helps with the cost of cinema visits (carer goes free)
  • Some theme parks will give a fast queue pass if your child would have difficulty standing in line
  • Pace yourselves – try and plan out when you are going to be doing different activities so that your child gets a balance of social verses quiet, calm time throughout each day and across the week.
  • Use the internet to show them new places you are going to visit.  Prepare them for what they might see.  Make a list in advance of what they definitely want to do and what they would like to do if they have time.
  • We do garden picnics and movie afternoons and story times in our bed and teddy bear picnics in the house.
  • L needs to be occupied all the time, so I make sure we go out every day, even if it’s just a little trip on her scooter whilst I walk.
  • My coping strategy is getting out on my own for a run when they have gone to bed. If it’s a tricky day I often divide the day into half hour slots and concentrate on getting through each one, as if I think about the whole day or the full holidays I really feel I can’t cope with it.
  • Try and think of one nice thing each day that happened