After a couple of conversations with the parents of a now-9th-grader (get ready high school!), it was decided that he should take a break from services for the summer and tackle summer on his own. Many of the students I serve have received therapy services for most of their childhood. Some are on-again, off-again services. Some students have transitioned from early intervention services to specific intensive services within the fields of occupational therapy, psychology, speech-language pathology… you name it, these kids (and families!) have sacrificed many hours to intervention.
As a parent, how do you know if it’s time to take a break? Some summer backsliding occurs for almost all kids, regardless of their outside support. But there are also areas of positive growth ~ from exploring during free play, to reading books of their choice, to helping out at summer camp.
It’s hard to do as a parent of a special-needs child. To say “buh-bye” to the support for a few months and let your child have a break. But honestly, it’s sometimes the best thing for both your child and the professionals in their care. Having a break allows for all to reinvigorate for the fall. It allows your child to just “be”, to not focus on “what’s wrong”, but on “what can we do today?”
You know your child the best. I try to challenge my students. I try to push them just a little bit harder than their other teachers or parents might push them. I try to increase their resiliency bit by bit throughout the year. And I love seeing their confidence and perseverance grow as a result. But just like adults, children need to work towards something. Knowing that hard work will be rewarded with a vacation at the end of the summer. Knowing that they have two weeks off to just play. Whatever it is, make sure you help your child work towards that “break”. A time without focusing on therapy appointments. You need it, too!