Summer vacation is a break from the norm, filled with new adventures and activities. For parents of children receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, it’s important to maintain some semblance of their regular therapeutic activities during these less structured months. As ABA therapy providers, we can assist them by creating a robust set of resources for the summer. This article will guide you in creating your summer toolkit for parents.
The Importance of Parental Involvement in ABA Therapy
Parents are crucial partners in ABA therapy. The summer months, when kids are at home more often, provide a unique opportunity for parents to play an even more active role in their child’s therapy. By providing them with the right resources, we can empower them to apply ABA techniques at home, thereby promoting continuity and progression in the child’s therapy.
Tools and Resources for At-home Therapy
- Routine Schedules: Parents can help maintain consistency and structure during summer by implementing visual schedules that outline daily activities. Provide templates or digital tools to help parents create effective and visually appealing schedules.
- Behavior Reinforcement Charts: Positive reinforcement is a key component of ABA therapy. Design charts for parents to track and reinforce desirable behaviors at home.
- Social Stories: Create summer-themed social stories to prepare children for various summer activities and events, such as going to the beach, attending a barbecue, or holidays like July 4th.
- Activity Ideas: Compile a list of summer activities that can be adapted to incorporate ABA principles. Remember to include both indoor and outdoor options for varying weather conditions. Here’s a fun PDF to get you started – feel free to add your own logo/customize.
- Data Collection Sheets: Equip parents with simplified data collection sheets to track their child’s progress over the summer.
Tailoring Resources to Individual Needs
Every child is unique and so should the resources that we provide. Discuss with parents to understand their child’s specific needs, goals, and preferred activities. Customizing the toolkit to each child will enhance its effectiveness and usability.
Providing Support and Training for Parents
It’s not enough to just hand over resources. Parents may need guidance and training on how to use them effectively. Consider offering workshops, tutorials, or one-on-one coaching sessions to educate parents on how to utilize these resources.
The Rethink Behavioral Health (RethinkBH) platform offers a range of digital resources that can make at-home therapy more efficient and effective. Encourage parents to make use of these tools and provide training if needed.
Creating a summer toolkit for parents is an excellent way to extend ABA therapy into the home during the summer months. Not only does it empower parents to take an active role in their child’s therapy, but it also ensures continuity and maximizes the effectiveness of the therapy. By empowering parents with the right resources and knowledge, we can help make the summer an enriching and productive period for our ABA families.
Let’s make this summer a season of continuous growth and progress for our clients. Start creating your customized summer toolkit today, and remember, our team at RethinkBH is here to provide any further support and guidance you need.
About the Author
Director of Community Engagement
Erin Mayberry is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has been in the field of ABA since 2009. Prior to Rethink, Erin provided clinical consultation to individuals on the autism spectrum and their families in home, clinic, and school settings, as well as staff training in behavioral crisis prevention. Erin has been with Rethink since 2018, and has worked in professional services, customer success, and most recently as Rethink’s Director of Community Engagement, working with our customers to create successful and meaningful partnerships.