Friday Five: Five Summer Activities to Keep You Busy

Summer is coming and parents are looking for things to do! How can I keep my child interested and engaged for the rest of the summer?” If you are one of those parents, I hope this list helps you find something fun to do!

5. Stay cool indoors! Try going bowling- it’s a great activity that not only allows you to interact with your child plus many of the newer bowling alleys have a computer screen that shows silly scenes after you bowl which may catch your child’s attention and even motivate them to bowl again! It usually isn’t too crowded during the day and you might even save a few bucks. Put the bumpers up and if your child doesn’t have great fine motor skills, teach them to granny bowl (put between their legs and roll). The fan by the bowling balls that cools your hands may also be a sensory bonus.
Take turns bowling and move as quickly or slowly as your child prefers! I have even had kids who wanted to take my turn and their turn. We turned it into a great game and cheered each other on. It’s not about who wins or loses- it’s how you play the game…

4. Buy sidewalk chalk with the 3-D glasses. This is a great opportunity to draw pictures, write letters or words, make a hopscotch board, etc. The 3-D glasses just add more fun. Some ways to engage your child: take turns, ask questions about what color they want, get them to tell you what to draw or what color to use, and even “erase” the scene with water and watch it dry in the sun.

3. Another great summer activity is going to the movies. In the Jackson area, Tinseltown and Malco (maybe United Artists too) have weekday showings in the morning at a special summer price. It may be busy, but this is a good time to try going to a movie and not feeling self-conscious about your child being too loud or not sitting still. There are all ages at these showings and everyone is typically friendly. AND, if you have to leave early, it’s much cheaper than usual admissions, so you can always build up a child’s tolerance of the movie theatre while you are not paying full price.

2. A way to incorporate reading with fun in the summer is to set up a tent in the house or in the backyard and get cozy with books. Camping items are great for kids with autism- and add a lot of sensory fun too. You can use flashlights, glow bracelets, and sleeping bags. Step it up a notch and include a little fishing game with the magnet poles and circular moving pond, fishing hats, books about wildlife and camping, and stuffed animals that live in the forest. These toys allow you to interact with your child in ways that may not have occurred on your usual summer schedule. Of course, no camping trip is complete without a special snack like s’mores- and they can be made gluten-free as well. Happy camping!

1. One of the programs that I think is widely overlooked in the summer is the local library reading program. The Jackson Hinds Library System has an awesome summer reading program that not only gets your child reading or you reading with your child, but also plans lots of activities for the kids- almost daily! Activities are free to anyone and with lots of libraries, there are lots of special things going on usually including “The Snake Man,” a real helicopter, plus lots more! This is a great way for your child to not only be included, but be exposed to new and interesting things.

These are just a few things that stick out in my mind from the many summers that I have taken children with autism into the community. I hope you will try some of these activities and find them as enjoyable as I have. If you try any of the above activities or have any topics you would like discussed in news and updates, please let me know what you think by completing the contact form. Happy summer!

Ten Days Until We Bounce for Autism!

Bounce for Autism coverThis is our second year to Bounce for Autism at Premier Tumble and Cheer! We are overjoyed at this special time to let the kids be kids, adults mingle, and be in a relaxed environment. Tickets are $10 per child and the Bounce for Autism will be Sat. April 30 from 10 am to 12 pm. Light refreshments will be available for sale.

While you are at PTC, check out the variety of classes they offer INCLUDING a class for kids with special needs! This is a new class that began this spring and is doing amazing things!

Purchase tickets in advance here.

Bounce for Autism 2016

We are excited to have an event for autism families and especially the kids this April. Premier Tumble and Cheer is hosting our second Bounce for Autism. This event is scheduled for Saturday, April 30 from 10:00 am-12:00 pm. This event allows families and kids with autism to come and play and be themselves while parents can mingle and feel comfortable in a relaxed environment.

Tickets are $10 per child and water and snacks will be available for purchase in the front room. Please come and help support families in the area who have a child with autism.

You can purchase tickets in advance here.

Tips for Getting a Haircut for a Child with Autism

One of my clients is getting ready for a big day…getting a haircut! This has not been an easy task for her or her family- lately, it has ended with her becoming very upset and reenacting the entire haircut. I am currently working with her family to make this a more positive experience as she gets ready for her next haircut. As I was getting ready, I ran across these tips from Autism Speaks.

Here are a few things I am doing to help this be a more positive experience:

  • Using Toca Boca’s Hair Salon Apps- Hair Salon, Hair Salon 2, Hair Xmas, and Hair Salon Me. We take turns in the “hair salon” fixing up the person’s hair, whether it be a girl, boy, Santa, Xmas tree, or a photo we take. This helps her become familiar with the steps taken when getting your hair cut and allows her to be in charge of what happens and when it happens.
  • Writing out a social story about what will happen at the salon. This is based off our pretend play with the Hair Salon apps.
  • Making a video social story. This will allow her to practice and process the haircut before it happens. We will video in a manner that looks as if we did cut hair so when she watches the video, she sees herself being successful getting her hair cut.
  • If needed, she will visit the salon prior to the haircut. This will allow her to meet the hairdresser and share any specific requests she may have. One of these requests may be to only get a “trim.”
  • A list of what will happen and in what order may help to decrease anxiety about the haircut.
  • Becoming familiar with the items that will be used in the salon and the smells in the salon can both be useful tools to creating a good visit. Hair salons have many smells and may not be pleasing to an individual with autism.

20140430-012435.jpg These are just a few tips to ease the stress of haircut day.

Free Events for Kids at Jackson Autism Center

There are 2 great opportunities coming up soon for kids at Jackson Autism Center! Next Thursday, April 24, there will be yoga/stretch classes in the afternoon. *Times are as follows 3:30 for ages 4-7 and 4:00 for ages 8-16. There is limited availability so you must register your child. Kids should wear comfortable clothes and bring a favorite stuffed animal to class. The class is appropriate for all skill levels and will focus on an introduction to yoga with an emphasis on stretching and relaxing. Register now to save your child’s spot!

Also, next Friday night, April 25, from 5:00-8:00, Jackson Autism Center will host a Disney movie night. Children ages four to eighteen are invited to come enjoy a showing of Frozen. Snacks will be provided. Sign up to reserve your spot!

*Times are subject to change based on class size and availability.

DREAM NIGHT at the Jackson Zoo for Kids with Disabilities and who are Chronically Ill

Graphic_000St. Dominic’s presents DREAM NIGHT at the Jackson Zoo Friday, June 7 from 5:00-7:00 pm. This is a free event, but families do need to RSVP by May 25 to participate via email to cwoodson@jacksonzoo.org or call 601.352.2500.

This is a great opportunity to visit the Jackson Zoo during a time where families will feel more comfortable. The pace will be set by the children and their families. There will also be special activities to participate in throughout the zoo. Sign up and enjoy a relaxing night at the zoo!

Ridgeland Challenger Baseball League Now Accepting New Players for 2013

One of my favorite times of the year is coming soon- springtime. Along with spring, comes one of my favorite activities: baseball. The Ridgeland Challenger League allows all individuals with disabilities to participate in the baseball season. It has been my joy and honor to play alongside these guys for several years now. Kids can begin at age 5 and play into adulthood. The kids have a genuine baseball experience- down to the heat and sweat that comes with Mississippi summers. However, the League prides itself in allowing children, youth, and adults participate in ways that they are comfortable. On the youngest field, it sometimes looks more like practice in order to keep kids engaged in the game. You may see a dad and his son throwing the ball in the outfield or playing chase. A season of Challenger League baseball always comes with “firsts” – I have seen children hit their first baseball, run the bases independently, and slide into home. It never ceases to amaze me to see the difference between the first game and the last one.

To register your child, click on RCL reg form. Don’t forget to turn it in before February 15, 2013 to ensure your child’s place on a team!

Batting

Dr. Rebecca Mullican and Flat Stanley Visit California!

Hi Parents and Kids. Please enjoy my first story and trip with Flat Stanley. The blue words can be clicked on and will teach you new things while you read my story. Enjoy!

Recently, I took Flat Stanley to California! Flat Stanley rode on 2 airplanes to get there! It took a long time! He didn’t have a seat, so he had to sit with the magazines. He did not care because he likes to read. Because it was his first airplane trip, the friendly stewardess brought him a pin that looked like airplane wings- he is not a rookie anymore!

As soon as Stanley and I got to Los Angeles, we went to the Griffith Observatory. I was really excited because a friend had recommended it to me. You can see the whole city of Los Angeles from up there. We were surprised when they saw the Hollywood sign, too! The weather was so cool in California that we rode in the car with the windows down. Stanley was already liking California.

Flat Stanley and Hollywood

The next day, Stanley got to go surfing. He had to wear a wet suit because the water in San Diego is cold. Stanley enjoyed surfing and relaxing in the sun on the beach. Here are some pictures he took at Ocean Beach in San Diego, Ca.

Stanley was really excited on Sunday because he was going to the San Diego Zoo. He took lots of pictures of the animals. His favorite was the gorillas because the mama gorilla was playing with one of her babies. You can watch the animals too by clicking here.

Before Stanley and I came home, we had one more stop- Disneyland. Stanley was so excited because he got to visit Cars Land. Stanley rode lots of rides at Disneyland and California Adventure, but his favorite was the Radiator Springs Racers.

Thanks for stopping by! Come see us again soon and we’ll tell you about our latest adventure!

Dr. Rebecca and Flat Stanley