“How to help my special child manage social anxiety, gain self-confidence, and improve academics?”
It is one of the most common questions that every parent of a special child asks, especially the parents of children with Autism. We understand their concern. No parent would like to see their kid without friends and not fun during the holiday season, summer as well as winter. Another thing that most parents are worried about is the learning loss kids experience during a break from school routine.
When it comes to children with behavioral, social, or learning issues, life is pretty harsh for them. They usually face a lot of difficulties to meet daily needs, and most of them are dependent on their parents and family. In addition to this, intense pressure from the outside can make things even more challenging for children with Autism. Kids with special needs are often looked down on by their schoolmates and other people, which further leads to diminishing their confidence. It is one of the reasons why children with Autism lose interest in attending school and participating in other social events.
If you are worried about how to help your child, we are here to help you. Fortunately, today, we have a wide range of summer camps for special needs children to help them overcome their fears and anxiety and be more confident. However, if you are not yet ready to send your child to such a camp, we have got another solution for you. In this post, we will look at some ways to help your child make the most of their holiday break and have lots of fun without any inconvenience.
You must be wondering how sitting quietly in front of the big screen is a social activity, but it is beneficial. Taking your child for the movies can have sensory effects that will help them get familiar with various emotions. Besides this, it is one of the best forms of entertainment that people can enjoy with family or friends without having the pressure to talk. Since this activity involves zero interaction with others, especially unknown people, your child can enjoy without any fear of being judged.
Enjoy music concerts
Whether adults or children, everyone likes to listen to music. Therefore, you can take your child to a music concert during the summer or winter vacation. If possible, please book tickets for their favorite singer or band. Just like movies, there is little-to-no social pressure in music concerts. Thus, your child can spend time outdoors, surrounded by thousands of people, without getting uncomfortable. However, with the COVID-19 situation going on, the concept of music concerts and such social events has been on a pause for a while. In such situation, we advise you to look up for the virtual music concerts and enjoy the same with your child.
Get them involved in fun physical activities
If your child is interested in any physical activities or sports, you can keep them engaged while having fun during the holidays. But before you get your child enrolled in any sports club, make sure it is safe and meets your child’s needs perfectly, especially during the COVID-19 scenarios. It should not only allow your child to have fun without social pressure but also help him/her to overcome fears and anxiety. Some activities include swimming, running, archery, and other sports.
Consider their interests
Please keep in mind children, especially with special needs, will enjoy those activities that fall into their bracket of interests, talents, or strengths. But, make sure you choose something that comes with a little amount of social pressure. It is because a large amount of stress by others can lead to discomfort and eventually loss of interest. However, you cannot keep them totally disconnected from the social settings. So, choose a middle ground and let them be comfortable in such situations.
Visit the zoo
By planning a visit to the zoo with your special child, you can expose them to natural habitats and animals. In simple words, they can learn a lot about their surroundings. And you do not have to be worried about social pressure, as most local attractions offer sensory-friendly venues. Thus, you can let your child be at peace with nature in an enjoyable and comfortable environment.
A walk to a nearby lake
You can also consider taking your child for a walk to a nearby lake and allow him/her to explore the beauty of nature. Yes, children with Autism are sensory-sensitive, and with too many people on the lake, they may feel uncomfortable and may not be able to enjoy. Therefore, it is advisable to choose the time when it is less crowded.
Now you know how to make the holiday break more fun and enjoyable for your special child. But will you deal with the learning loss during this time? Let’s look into it:
Learning loss during the holiday season is a common instance among children, but it is more evident in kids with Autism and other learning disabilities. Not only this, kids with learning and processing disorders struggle to focus, which affects their learning abilities. Below, we have put down tips from the experts that will help your kid stay on track throughout the year.
Set up a study area
In general, the surrounding plays a crucial role in improving focus and concentration. Thus, by creating a dedicated study zone in your home, your child can focus better on their lessons and be more productive. Please note, this area needs to be located in a quieter part of your home with no distractions and have minimum studying tools.
Avoid complicated organizational methods
Since special children have learning problems, there is no point in using complicated organizational methods. It’s because they may fail to follow it and may lose interest. For this reason, try to use as simple organizational methods as possible so that even in your absence, they can access their study material. For example, use a white-colored folder to keep English work, and accordingly, you can use a different color for the folder of a different subject.
Make a study routine
Lack of focus leads children to take more time to complete their daily homework and assignments. Already, special kids take several hours to finish their school work when others need lesser time. Thus, it is essential to have a study routine. It will prevent your child from experiencing summer study loss while improving their focus and grades.
Set a deadline
Another one of the best techniques to keep your child on track is by setting a deadline. For this, you can use a timer clock and allow him/her to finish the assignment within a specific amount of time. You might feel that doing this is too harsh for special children, but it will pay you back multi-folds. For instance, your child will not get off track, as the timer will remind him/her about how much time is left. So, even if they lose focus in the process, the timer can redirect them.
Try different subjects
Children can get bored with a monotonous study routine, especially those with Autism and other learning problems. Therefore, to keep them motivated all through the year, keep switching subjects now and then. Apart from this, using different teaching methods offers great results while keeping your child interested in studying.
The bottom line
We understand that it is not easy to raise a child with Autism. But your little efforts and constant love and care can help your child to lead a fulfilling life. With these tips, you can help your child enjoy holidays like any other kid without worrying about social pressure while overcoming academic struggles.