Summertime, and when to take a break…

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?”

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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!

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