Founder's Circle: News & Events

School’s Out

The beginning of summer is a wonderful time of year, but it can feel really hectic. As a parent of special needs children, I understand the crazy pressure of trying to help them end the school year well and on the same level as their classmates. While other parents are making summer plans and talking about the weather and their gardens, I find myself nodding along but really feeling a bit like an alien. My thoughts are consumed with how to help my children finish the school year successfully. Have they learned all they need to keep up with everyone? Is there a new therapy or technology out there to help them? How can we afford it? What more can I do to help them not lose ground during the summer?

I have learned to quiet the anxious thoughts and to simply persevere. I hope the following suggestions encourage and inspire you as you look forward to all of the opportunities that summer brings. Just as spring is a time of re-birth…. Summer needs to be a time of renewal for all of us.

These are some things that work for our family:
1) Visit your library and use your library cards. Get books, check out their summer programs and see what else looks fun!
2) Read aloud to your child every day, just like when they were little. Pick long, adventuresome books and read a chapter or two a night. The older the child the better! There is no end to the benefits of this special time together.
3) Have your child journal every day for 20 minutes. Even if all they do is draw pictures and write a few letters or misspelled words, know that it all benefits their writing skill acquisition and confidence. This is helpful no matter their level or learning difficulty. It is also a fun record of their summers. I treasure my collection of summer journals.
4) If you are able to get some extra tutoring during the summer- do it! Any regression you can stop and any gains your child can make will pay off in the long run.
5) Enjoy the weather.
6) Plan family time and plant a garden or partake in another outdoor project. This teaches them that family and connecting to each other and nature is an important part of life.
7) Under schedule things so that there is room for the day to take you to unexpected places. Some of life’s best memories are unplanned surprises.

I hope you are able to implement some of these strategies this summer for your family.


Suzanne Vogel