AARC Tip of the Month - June 2017
Transitioning Into a Summer Routine
AARC is closed for the summer from May 23rd to August 4th 2017. We will reopen on August 7th. Have a wonderful summer!
Transitioning Into a Summer Routine

Transitioning from a school routine into a summer routine is sometimes difficult for a student who has autism; however, the use of visual supports, communication supports, and familiar routines can ease the transition.

Schedules:  Daily schedules can be used to let the child know what activities to expect during the day and when they are going to occur. Weekly or monthly calendars can be used to showcase when new or highly anticipated events will occur.

Task Analysis Visual Supports:  If your student is working on functional skills that are performed in a step-by-step format (such as getting dressed, brushing their teeth, or using the bathroom independently), it may be beneficial to continue teaching that skill at home during the summer. When learning a new skill, it is important that the steps taken to perform the skill are done in the same order each time. Talk with your student's teacher to see if they are using visual supports to teach these skills in the classroom, and ask to have a copy of the supports sent home. Posting these visual supports where your child performs the task will help with acquisition, maintenance, and generalization of the skill.

Communication Supports:  If your child communicates using alternative or augmentative communication devices or supports, it is important to continue the use of these supports over the summer. For example, if your student communicates using PECS in the school environment it would be a good thing to use that same communication in the home environment.

Familiar Routines:  Create a routine for your child to engage in during summer vacation days. It may be as simple as "get up, eat breakfast, self-care activities, and play outside," or it might be more complex and include a step-by-step breakdown of each different activity. You will know how best to meet your child's routine needs.

Generalizing Functional Skills:  Summer vacation is a great time to take the skills your student was working on in the classroom and practice them in the real world. If you have a student who is working on sorting and folding laundry as a functional goal in the classroom, practice those skills at home. Ask your student's teacher how they are teaching those skills, and then replicate the procedure in your home. If your child masters that skill in your home, try another new environment like a neighbor's or relative's home. Providing multiple opportunities to practice the skill ensures your child will retain that skill over the summer. Providing new environments to perform the skill in will help your child generalize the skill. Any functional skill a student is working on can be practiced in this way over summer vacation.
Books of the Month:
The books of the month are available in the Special Education Service Agency (SESA) Library. Search for books on the  SESA website, or contact our Librarian, Anne Freitag, at  afreitag@sesa.org  or  907-334-1301 

Electronic books may be accessed from anywhere in the state. If you've used our ebooks before,  go to the login page here.  If you haven't, please contact Anne so she can set up a username and password for you.  
Click here for more information about ebooks.

You can also look for additional articles in a variety of databases by using SLED, which is available for free for all Alaskans:  http://lam.alaska.gov/sled
Activity Schedules for Children with Autism: Teaching independent behavior
By: Lynn E. McClannahan & Patricia J. Krantz
Woodbine House, c1999
ISBN:  093314993X

Description: This book has detailed instructions and many examples to help parents and educators create activity schedules, to go from photographic guides to written schedules, and to monitor progress.
By: Patricia Snair Koski
LinguiSystems, c1998.
ISBN:  0760602069
Description: Language skills for ages: 3 thru 8; grades: PreK thru 3. Includes worksheets and lesson plans.
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