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Preparing for routine changes with your child over the summer holidays

Blue background with colourful cartoon images of different children of different abilities playing. A purple shape in the foreground has white text on it saying "Helping children to prepare for changes in routine during the summer holidays". The Familiarisation Videos logo is at the top of the shape.
Helping Children to Prepare for Changes in Routine during the Summer Holidays

So the summer holidays have begun! Parents now have the task of keeping their children happy and occupied for 6 weeks...

For children with disabilities, the holidays can be a difficult time to navigate, and so too for their parents/carers, especially if your child thrives on routine, structure and predictability. Preparing for routine changes with your child over the summer holidays is an important step in helping the 6 weeks to go more smoothly and enjoyably.

“Spur of the moment” trips may be difficult, so maintaining some routines such as mealtimes and bedtimes is helpful so that there are some aspects of your child’s day that remain consistent. Building a routine during the holidays is an important tool in helping to regulate children's emotions. Here are a few ways that can help…

Communicate with your child

Communication is so important. When there is a change to the normal routine, like a daytrip or event coming up, communicate this to your child in advance. Preparation is important so this may mean slowly introducing these changes into conversation very early on. Ensure that your child has some input about what their summer may involve by asking them what they would like to do or providing some choices. Communication may also mean being transparent about the more negative aspects of an event like long journey times.

Create a timetable

A visual timetable, consisting of words and/or pictures can be a daily, weekly or monthly overview of what you are planning, to ensure that children can feel prepared and know what is coming next. You can get help with making a visual timetable here

Break up the activities in to more manageable sections

Breaking up the days into manageable sections can really help too. You’ll be able to make sure that your child knows what’s happening now, what’s coming next, and how they can prepare for the next day without feeling overwhelmed by too much going on.

Use Familiarisation Videos to help your child adjust to new experiences

Watching a Familiarisation Video with your child before a trip, event or activity can really help your child to prepare for your plans.

When used alongside the visual timetable you have created, familiarisation videos will help your child to become more comfortable with where they're going and what they will be doing.

Familiarisation videos will also help you to plan your trip more easily by allowing you to see all the facilities of a venue that are available, and whether you may experience any issues that you need to prepare for.

Where would you like to take your child during the summer holidays that you would like to see a Familiarisation Video for?

Let us know in our suggestions form at the bottom of this page…


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