Summer holiday strategies for your family

3 mins read

Thursday 3 August 2023

Tags: holidays, tips to help this summer

We know that schools can provide routine and structure for many children with additional needs. When this routine stops, for example in the school holidays, some children can find the change hard to manage.

To help, we’ve put together 10 top tips to help take some of the stress out of the holidays ahead:

  1. Mark up key dates for your family this summer on a calendar to help your child understand what’s coming up. Include things like days out, days you are working, days your child will be at childcare or a playscheme, any holidays away – and the day school starts again. Crossing the days off will show your child that school is getting closer.
  2. Use photographs and other visuals to show your child daily routines. For example the Tom Tag range in our Fledglings shop uses symbols to show a series of separate tasks or the steps involved in a task that are part of a routine for a whole range of different situations.
  3. Social stories can be a great way to help your child what’s happening this summer holiday.
  4. Find some free activities. Look out for places where kids can eat for free and family days out as well as museums, libraries, parks, BBC online games, craft activities at home. Maybe you have a local children’s centre or toy library. Look out for autism-friendly attractions by checking accessibility guidelines.
  5. Don’t over-plan activities – you and your child will be exhausted! It’s important to allow for down-time.
  6. Get out early and take a packed lunch and snacks!
  7. When you are out and about don’t forget to bring a bag of distractions and spare clothes.
  8. Don’t forget to take emergency contact information with you.
  9. Tolerate mess!
  10. Shop for back-to-school items early.

Contact resources to help

Take a look at our holidays and leisure guide.

Visit our Fledglings shop for products to help with routines and getting out and about this holiday.

Read answers to some of your questions about summer activities for your disabled child.

If you live in the Midlands or London and have an autistic child check out the free parent workshops we have coming up including support strategies for the summer holidays.

Take action on the lack of holiday childcare for families with disabled children

Contact and the Disabled Children’s Partnership recently carried out research which revealed that nine out of 10 families have been unable to find a suitable holiday club or activity for their disabled child this summer.

As a result, we’re asking supporters to take action on the lack of holiday childcare for disabled children by writing to their councillors calling for more holiday provision for disabled children in their local area.