Summer Sensory Activities

Summer Sensory Activities

Summer Sensory Activities

Anne Trecker, MS, OTR/L of Occupational Therapy Associates in Watertown, Massachusetts tells us about summer sensory activities in this post. The warmer weather and slower pace of summertime provide an excellent opportunity for children to get increased input through summer sensory activities. Learning new skills may be easier without the pressures of school. However, for some children with sensory motor problems who thrive on consistency, routines and structure, summer can be disorienting and lacking needed direction. Transitions from school to a summer program or camp may be difficult, and vacations, however enjoyable, can further disrupt a child’s routine. Below are some suggestions for sensory activities to help children with sensory integration difficulties enjoy the summer months. Fun Summer Sensory Activities Go to the playground often. Climbing, hanging, swinging and sliding are excellent sensory activities. An older sibling or friend can model play activities to help a child with motor planning problems. Move messy art activities outside for more sensory fun….

Special Needs Summer Camps or ESY?

Special Needs Summer Camps or ESY?

Special Needs Summer Camps or ESY?

Patricia S. Lemer, M.S.Bus., NCC, Chairman of the Board, Epidemic Answers, fills us in on special needs summer camps. Parents frequently ask me to make recommendations about summer programming for their children with special needs. They are torn between using the season for intensifying therapy programs or giving the child a break from routine. Any child who has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is eligible for an Extended School Year (ESY) program. ­ First, “critical life skills” are identified in the IEP. Next, a committee determines if the child’s critical life skills, without ESY services: Will regress and not be recovered in a reasonable amount of time Are emerging and at a breakthrough point Are impeded by stereotypic, ritualistic or self-injurious behaviors If an interruption in programming is likely to prevent a student from receiving some benefit from the educational program during the regular school year, the school system must provide ESY services. IEP goals for ESY are carried over…