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Summertime on the Spectrum

Summertime on the Spectrum
Summertime is different for some kids…

So many of you are asking me about Cooper’s summer plans. A valid question. He finishes up school this week.
Then he will be an eight grader.

He absolutely understands that school is almost done for the year. I know because yesterday when we walked him to the bus he held up three fingers the entire way and had us repeat…’three more days.’ He likes his reassurance that one.

Summer breaks are different for kids like Cooper. Or maybe it’s just him. I guess I’m not sure.

While my middle son is planning sleepovers, day camp, baseball, fishing camp, faith camp, and figuring out the ice cream trucks neighborhood schedule, Cooper’s schedule is less full.

There are no kids knocking on the door to play with him. He is signed up for Miracle League Baseball, and asks us to go hit home runs daily, but typically refuses to participate when the time comes. He does have what’s called ‘Extended School Year’ but it doesn’t start until July and even then it’s a couple hours a day for a few weeks.

Where we live, there are really no programs for him to attend. He falls in this unique place on the spectrum where he would need a lot of help to make a program work and simultaneously does not like many activities. He also doesn’t like to be away from mom or dad.

He loves structure. He loves routine. He loves going places but needs two people to help him be successful. He needs someone with him at all times. Usually his dad or I.

I did my best this summer to fill up his schedule. We are going to see Thomas the Train, visit a few train museums, going boating, and I have two amazing friends coming daily to keep him active.

But it’s hard on him. Losing his normal. He doesn’t quite understand. His once social daily life is now suddenly not. For him, school is his world. And it ends for 3 months.

Summer is just different for kids like my son. And it makes me worry a bit about life after age 18.

We do our best though. And hope to have a lot of fun!
Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook.

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