Weekends and holidays tend to be more relaxed times but this is not always the case. Depending on your family dynamic you may need to have structured routines in place to manage the commitments of your weekend and holiday breaks. It is however, a change from the routine of the weekdays at child care, early intervention or kindergarten and requires adjusting too.
The leisure time activities that you have put into place will help to manage some of this time. Depending on how busy your child’s weekdays have been with visits to centres, therapists or specialists, the weekend may be a time when you and your child will want or need a break. Some children however, thrive on routine and will want to be structured into activities. This okay but they need to learn to understand that there are things that parents need to do on weekends such as shopping, visiting friends and family, attending other children’s sporting events and therefore the world will not revolve around them.
Weekends and holidays are times when a visual schedule comes in very handy. Your child can begin to learn about schedules and if it is available to them, then they can check in with the schedule instead of asking you what is going to happen. It will also help in the future as they begin to manage their own personal routine and a schedule at school.
If your child has an associated learning disability such as Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) then management of the weekend and holiday will need to be different to take into consideration the added layer of complexity that comes with these disabilities.
In considering all of this the severity of your child’s Intellectual Disability(ID) will also affect how you organise weekends and holidays. If the disability is severe and the child is wheelchair bound then access to environments in the community need to be a further consideration. Your child’s personal needs such as accessibility to community spaces, hydration and possible medical requirements also requiring planning.
While holidays and weekends are generally more relaxed times, it is important to keep routines in place such as bedtimes, as consistency in areas such as this will help you and your child.