Summer Travel Survival with Kids with Learning and Attention Issues
Every season of the year gives us something special and unique. But there is no other season that can be compared to summer, really. The ice cold chill of the air conditioner when you first come inside from the new summer heat, the first time the sun kisses your skin, and don’t forget those cold summer treats! No doubt the kids are bursting with excitement because summer means school is out! Sleeping in, riding bikes, day trips to the local swimming pool. Ahhhh Summer! That all sounds amazing, right? Don’t worry; I haven’t forgotten about how incredibly whacky the little munchkins can get when school is out too.
Summer can also mean family vacations, road trips and new adventures. Some people travel somewhere new every year, really taking on the word adventure. Others may travel to the same place every year, to visit family or friends, or their favorite vacation spot. OR maybe you want to stay home this summer, rather than packing up your entire family plus luggage into your car and taking off into the night. Don’t worry, we won’t judge you, because sometimes just relaxing is the best vacation! Regardless of what your plans may be summer is definitely a time to soak up the sun and enjoy the extra time with your family!
8 Tips to Survive a Family Road Trip
Just thinking about all of the things that need to be done before a road trip, or any summer plans, can bring on an emotional rollercoaster for adults, but how does it affect our kids? Usually, kids are pretty excited when they hear that they are going on a road trip, headed to visit family, or headed to the beach. But sometimes, kids, especially those with learning and attention issues, have a hard time adjusting to new situations and new environments. Most of the time, the issue has probably presented itself before, even if you aren’t fully aware of it.
Maybe your child struggled during the school year, had trouble paying attention, having conversations or finishing projects? These behaviors and challenges may be due to an undiagnosed learning or attention issue. And you aren’t alone. One in five children struggles with issues related to reading, math, writing, focus, and organization, yet many children with learning and attention issues do not have a diagnosis. The adults in their lives often have a hard time understanding their issues due to misconceptions and a lack of information and resources. As a result, children with learning and attention issues often face both academic and social challenges, even with something as simple as a family vacation. Sometimes even the simplest of tasks can become a big frustration.
Understood.org was created by a coalition of 15 nonprofits, and its content and tools were informed by a survey of more than 2,200 parents of children with learning and attention issues. Understood offers free daily access to experts through chats and webinars, a safe online community that encourages parents to reach out to and learn from each other and a suite of specially designed, first-of-their-kind tools including:
- Interactive Quizzes: to determine what might be happening with your child
- Through Your Child's Eyes: A series of interactive simulations and videos that enable parents to experience firsthand how smart people can struggle with a seemingly simple task when they have reading, writing, math, organization or attention issues.
- Tech Finder: Expert-approved apps and games searchable by a child’s grade and issues.
- Just For You: An opt-in system that provides additional levels of personalized content recommendations. (Parents don’t need to sign in to start getting customized recommendations on Understood; all they need to do to hit the ground running is check the boxes about their child’s grade and issues.) Parents who choose to complete a secure, confidential profile will receive recommendations for each child in their profile as well as for topics they’ve expressed interest in, such as siblings, travel and communicating with family and friends.
- Decision Guide: Key questions to help parents think through big topics, such as whether it’s time to request a formal evaluation, let a child start dating or decide which path to pursue after high school.
Whether you have worked with your child on dealing with this struggle for years or this is something new for you, Understood has resources for everyone to learn how to help these kiddos with whatever challenges they face. The You & Your Family section helps families with practical solutions and advice for social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.
Having the gift of extra time with your child over the summer means the opportunity to learn and grow with them. How do you tackle summer challenges with kids struggling with learning and attention issues?