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Understanding Autism, OCD and ADHD - Advice for Parents & Carers

10 Tips For The School Holidays

11 August 2021

This resource is brought to you in partnership with the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity. To support you and your child during the school holidays, explore top hints including getting into a routine, using reward systems and improving independent skills.

Discuss the house rules

Whether you go out for the day or away on holiday, learn the rules of wherever you’re heading and prepare your child.

Keep them entertained

If your child gets bored easily, pack games and other assorted amusements so that they are engaged in activities. Also include quiet, solitary entertainments such as books, crayons or devices with headphones.

Give your child a job

It can be helpful for some children and young people to have a task to focus on during school holidays, especially tasks which involve an element of responsibility and that raise self-esteem.

Give small, short term, immediate rewards

For example, you might say, “If we can work together to clean the house this morning, we’ll pick out a film to watch together later”.

Have an escape plan

Before your child gets involved in new or different activities speak to them about the importance of trying to find a quiet space if needed.

Dedicate time for physical activity

Exercise is so important for children and young people with ADHD. Provide your child with plenty of opportunities to take part in regular exercise or sporting activities during the school holidays. This will help them to sleep better.

Rehearse the ‘stop, relax, think’ technique

Some children will need to practice calming down at home before venturing out into holiday activities or days out without much structure. Rehearsing the technique with your child or role-playing a scenario that has given your child trouble in the past are both excellent strategies.

Don’t overstimulate

Too many activities can overstimulate a child, particularly a young person with ADHD. Decide which occasions are most important and don’t overload the schedule.

Make time to recharge

Children need time to recharge after lots of holiday activities so build in down time after each event. Discuss the need for down time aloud to raise your child’s awareness of their own energy levels.

Advice & Support For Navigating Celebrations

For more useful resources like this, download our Celebrations Support Pack.

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