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School holidays are on the horizon. Many parents will be starting to plan how to keep their children entertained during the holidays. For parents with children with disabilities this can be a bit tricky. Not only may you need programs that match your child’s interest but you may also be looking for programs that provide strong structure and more individualised support.
School holidays also give the chance to step out of routine, take a break and refocus for the next three months or so. This is a great time to think about the new school term ahead and what else can be done to meet the social and recreational needs of your child. Aside from all the physical health benefits that come with sport, there are many social ones too. Not to mention the opportunity to just have fun.
Stuck for ideas? Below is the list that we’ve come up with so far. The good news is that more and more organisations are offering school holiday programs and out of school hours clubs and sports for children with special needs. So expect this list to grow over time…
Let’s start with school holidays programs
MyCareSpace currently has a list of inclusive school holidays programs and it looks to be growing each term. You can search by state or post code and then click on the link to the relevant website to find out more information. Their web address is: https://mycarespace.com.au/resources/inclusive-school-holiday-camps
A favourite of Naomi’s for school holidays programs are those run by Autism West – The Telethon Holiday Makers Program – which caters for children on the autism spectrum aged 10-18 years. Autism West also run different groups during the school term too. Their web address is as follows: http://autismwest.org.au/social-groups/holiday-makers/
What about extracurricular activities during the term?
Here are a few that we’ve found that might be interesting and not all sport based!
The WA Disabled Sports Association (WADSA) has a directory of activities run by different organisations. You can search by topic and then click on the link to take you to the relevant website. It also has a category for “Holiday and After School Activities”. A great place to start to help you and your child work out what sorts of activities might be interesting.
For the children and adolescents that are more interested in music we came across this organisation – Music Rocks Australia. They provide programs for children and adults with special needs.
This program is one that we’ve had our own ABACAS team members volunteer to help with from time to time. Great for the kids who love the water – why not surfing with Ocean Heroes?
And for the children who really love their technology there is the The Lab – which provides technology clubs for children on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum.
We hope these websites are helpful. They are just a selection of services and programs that caught our attention when looking at what’s currently out there in Perth. Have you got any programs that you’d like to recommend? If so please feel free to let any of the ABACAS Team know so we can add them to our working list and share with other parents!
Lastly, the Centre will be open during the holidays which means therapy doesn’t have to stop. If we don’t see you during the holidays we look forward to seeing you at the start of next term. For more information about our ABACAS program please click on the following link:
Penny Wong (Case Manager, ABACAS) & Naomi Ward (Clinical Director)