Summer may be coming to an end, but the journey of growth and development for individuals with autism continues all year round! In this blog, we’ll explore how to keep the therapeutic momentum going beyond the summer season.By nurturing a vibrant and engaging environment, we can ensure ongoing progress and support for individuals on the autism spectrum.
Embrace Year-Round Therapy Options
Did you know that there are a variety of year-round therapy options available for individuals with autism? From occupational therapy to speech therapy and behavioral interventions, these therapies provide invaluable support for continued progress (Smith et al., 2020). The key is to explore reputable therapy centers and work with qualified professionals who specialize in autism care.
Engage in Community-based Programs and Resources
The world outside the therapy room offers a wealth of opportunities for growth and engagement. Local community centers, libraries, and recreational organizations often provide inclusive programs tailored to the needs of individuals with autism (Jones & Thompson, 2019). These programs offer a chance to develop social skills, explore new interests, and foster a sense of belonging within the community.
Incorporate Therapy Goals into Daily Routines
Therapy is not confined to specific sessions; it can be seamlessly integrated into daily routines. By weaving therapy goals into everyday activities, individuals with autism can make progress while enjoying their favorite hobbies and routines (Dawson et al., 2021). For example, a speech therapy goal of improving communication
can be practiced during mealtime conversations or family game nights. Go ahead and put the goals on your kiddo’s schedule, and use visual references too, if that is something that works for them.
Spark Joy with After-school Clubs and Groups
School life is not just about academics—it’s an opportunity to cultivate friendships and pursue shared interests. Encourage your child to join after-school clubs or groups that align with their passions (Green et al., 2018). Whether it’s an art club, a science exploration group, or a sports team (see more in our previous blog: The Power of Sports for Children on the Spectrum), these activities offer chances for social interaction, skill-building, and a lot of fun!
Leverage Technology for Remote Therapy and Support
If getting out of the house is just not working with your schedule, advancements in technology have opened up new avenues for therapy and support. Remote therapy sessions, virtual social skills groups, and interactive apps designed specifically for individuals with autism can provide continued guidance and engagement (Vismara et al., 2018). Harnessing the power of technology allows therapy to be accessible, convenient, and enjoyable from the comfort of your own home.
Embrace the Power of Family Involvement
Family involvement is a vital ingredient in the recipe for continued growth. By actively
participating in your child’s therapy journey, you become an essential source of support and motivation (Siller et al., 2014). Collaborate with therapists, practice therapy techniques at home, and celebrate each milestone together. Tailor these celebrations so that your child sees the victory! Your unwavering love and involvement make a remarkable difference!
The end of summer and ‘back to school’ doesn’t mean the end of home designed progress for individuals with autism. By embracing year-round therapy options, engaging in community programs, incorporating therapy goals into daily routines, participating in after-school clubs, leveraging technology, and fostering family involvement, we can nurture growth and create a vibrant journey of development. Remember, each step forward is a reason to celebrate and be proud!
Dawson, G., Jones, E. J. H., Merkle, K., Venema, K., Lowy, R., Faja, S., Kamara, D., & Murias,
M. (2021). Early behavioral intervention is associated with normalized brain activity in young children with autism. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 60(5), 567-579.
Green, V. A., Pituch, K. A., Itchon, J., Choi, A., O’Reilly, M., & Sigafoos, J. (2018). Internet
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Jones, W., & Thompson, C. (2019). Autism and the social world: An anthropological
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Smith, T., Klorman, R., & Mruzek, D. W. (2020). Predictors and moderators of treatment
response for children with autism. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 49(1), 157-174.
Siller, M., Hutman, T., & Sigman, M. (2014). A parent-mediated intervention to increase
responsive parental behaviors and child communication in children with ASD: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(7), 1737-1749.
Vismara, L. A., McCormick, C., Young, G. S., Nadhan, A., & Monlux, K. (2018). Preliminary
findings of a telehealth approach to parent training in autism. Journal of Autism and
Developmental Disorders, 48(11), 3702-3715.