Children with neurobehavioral disorders like ADHD, Learning Disorders and Asperger's often get out of sorts when they do not know what comes next. The school year typically lends itself to a consistent and predictable schedule at school and at home.
When summer break hits, families tend to relax their normal schedules, which can result in unease for these children. The following are tips for how to stick to a schedule for summer to avoid unnecessary anxiety for your easily overwhelmed child.
Keep a Reasonable Bedtime
Adequate sleep is key to a healthy and well functioning child. Since children with ADHD and Asperger Syndrome often struggle to get enough sleep, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule throughout the summer months is important. Even as little as 30 more minutes each night can lead to improved alertness and better behavior.
Maintain a Focus on Academics
Without homework assignments that come along with a typical school year, it's easy to put academics on hold. Known as the summer slide, children who don't spend any time on reading and math during the summer may return to school and experience a loss of skills. To avoid this struggle, encourage your child to schedule time each day throughout the summer to read and refresh math skills.
Limit Screen Time
Studies show that watching TV leads to brain changes in children. In addition, an abundance of daily screen time means children have less time for play and movement. During the summer, it's tempting to relax limits. Assign your child a set hour each day for screen time and fill the rest of their free time with these activities.