Lacking summer structure?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2004
Lacking summer structure?
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 7:01pm


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Wed, 07-07-2010 - 7:17am

We have a whiteboard in the kitchen that I usually use for shopping lists/reminders/behaviour charts that we have transformed for the summer into a daily/weekly timetable of activities. (it helps that my mother is my childcare for the next couple of weeks and she's a qualified ed pych, but I do it when I'm in charge too). Basically we map out a series of wet weather and dry weather activities that are low/no cost (eg picnic, park, hiking, swimming, cinema, building a pirate ship out of boxes, building a den, baking, dollies tea party, fruit picking at a local farm, bowling, making a holiday scrapbook, painting, crafts, playdates) and each child (I have 1 Aspie DS, 11, and 2 NTs, 7 & 4) takes it in turn to pick an activity for the day. That way we get out of the house for a few hours, and everyone feels they get a fair turn at activities.

Incorporated into this is a behaviour chart/rewards system - but for ASD kids these need to be immediate rewards. For the Aspie this is clearing table + walking dog + putting away his laundry = 1 hour computer time etc. (For the 7 year old, as he is a young Warren Buffet in the making, this is hard cash, and for the 4 year old this is points towards a new fairy lampshade, or whatever the current pink-related obsession is). I let the kids decide what behaviours/chores earn points/money/ etc (so for the little one cleaning her plate and not whining figure highly, and for the medium one tidying his room, walking the dog etc)

For scrapbooks we try to have themes that enable us to collect stuff and take pictures on walks, and the eldest will draw complicated maps (for our 'pirates' theme he just did the most amazing treasure hunt for his siblings which kept them all quiet for hours). I also try to make routine activities - eg meal preparation - into a big joint activity (with rewards etc for unloading dishwasher, for example) because during the school year we never have time to just cook and eat in a relaxed way as a family.

I think the visual thing - the timetable and rewards charts on the whiteboard - makes things a lot easier for all of us, but particularly for the Aspie as it gives him a sense of structure and goals.


Kirsty, mum to Euan (11, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2007
Wed, 07-07-2010 - 4:45am
I try to keep things very structured during the summer routine. 11 yo Ds is home with his 19 yo sister so it is neccesary for everyone's sanity. It also makes the transition back to school in the fall easier. We pick out both school releated and personal "self improvement"
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 9:42pm

I think the lack of structure is part of our problem here too.