Here in Montreal, Quebec it is the first long weekend of summer, Jean-Baptiste or National Day. School is officially over, most people are home, and this weekend the weather will be cooperating beautifully, hot and sunny! It’s also going to be on the humid and sticky side though, which is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially a lot of “Exceptional Children’s”. I’m fortunate that Michael has gotten better over the years at handling heat and staying outside, after all, summer is so short. What has also helped is learning how to keep cool as an “Exceptional Family,” metaphorically and literally.. Here are 8 Ways that our family has learned to beat the heat on the first long weekend of summer:
- Splash Pads at local parks: This is the greatest invention of humankind, and perfect for the child who is not a terrific swimmer or is a little water shy. Also, it’s FREE, and you can usually bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it as most are usually attached to parks where kids could play while the adults talk. 🙂
- Public swimming pool: We are lucky to live in the suburbs where we have our choice of which public swimming pool to attend. And, if cost is an issue, or you feel as if you may not be going enough times to make it worth it, try paying as you go. Most offer that for $5.00 a person. Here Michael can shout, do silly things, and hey, he’s just a kid like the others. Your child can be themselves and you can relax.
- Sprinkler : Michael still likes to go in the sprinkler. These days you can buy all types which make the water a more friendly premise for the kiddies. I adjusted the height so he was not intimidated to go in. Try writing a social story for kids with more water fear.
- Baby Pool: This is great when they are little, (as long as you are always nearby, of course), and what I did was throw in many of Michael’s toys and figurines, squeeze toys, whatever helped him feel comfortable.
- Water guns or water balloons: This depends how you feel as a parent about them, but this could be a gentle way to cool off and introduce your child to fun water activity. It’s turn taking, refreshing when you get a squirt or splash, and then you could move up to one of the bigger water activities above.
- Going to the beach: When and if kids would rather play on the sand, they have that option while staying cool enough with the breeze. Sand also is a great tool for meeting sensory needs.
- Amusement parks with water slides : This costs a lot more, but your kids can go on rides, and then as an afterthought, go in the water parks, no pressure if they are a little nervous. There are passes you could get that state your child has Autism which would get you to the front of the line. Usually all they require is proof of diagnosis.
- Water parks: Finally, for those Exceptional Kids who are little fish (like mine), a full blown water park may be your best bet. But check out exactly how big it is. We did not do this, and afterwards realized that it was too big for Michael at the time.
Exceptional Parents, how do you keep cool with your Exceptional Children? I would love to hear what your tips are. Just remember, like with everything else, go with the flow of your child, make it fun, and you will all have a blast. Until next time.