Thursday, September 8, 2011

What a summer!

My wife Krysia is amazing.  Throughout the summer I kept thinking about how she did a great job of planning summer activities for our boys.  Planning out the right mix of things to do/sign up for is always tricky.  I suspect you can relate.  In doing so, we think about the following:  
  1. Get them out of the house, but not too much where you're running around non-stop. 
  2. Get them some social interaction so that they can practice social skills. 
  3. Get them some physical activity as opposed to letting them be raised by their DS or Wii. 
  4. Try not to lose ground on the academic progress you were able to accomplish the previous school year.
  5. Oh yeah, maintain a marriage and have some vacation time for yourselves too while you're at it...
No pressure really.  Can you sense my sarcasm...

It's a tough balance.  We've overcommitted in previous summers that's for sure.  I think back to January, February and March of this year when Krysia was pouring over all the options that exist, balancing dates and times and evaluating costs.  What a juggling act!  I think all families struggle with this no matter if your child has special needs or not but the special needs factor definitely adds a new level of complexity to the equation. 

We enjoyed a variety of activities including:
  1. Camp Woodbrooke out in Richland Center, WI
  2. Camp Invention in Waunakee, WI
  3. Camp AweSum in Moon Beach near Minocqua, WI
  4. Peer play groups with select individuals
  5. Swimming lessons at the local pool
  6. North Branch Music Festival in Waubeno, WI
  7. Art in the Park at Lakeview Park
  8. Neighborhood Kickball at Parisi Park
  9. Family cottage in Sturgeon Bay
What I thought was great about this year was that the planning effort also fired up an effort on our part to raise awareness in our town about the lack of options for kids on the spectrum (and non-sports loving kids in general).  So many of the activities are sports driving and team oriented not to mention facilitated by people (often teens) that aren't trained to handle kids with special needs.  Once again Krysia got to work.  She put together a meeting in our living room one afternoon this spring that was attended by our State Senator - Jon Erpenbach, City of Middleton staff as well as about a dozen concerned parents.  That was a great meeting to share concerns and raise awareness. Action items came out of that meeting that are still being pursued including finding meeting space for the group Middleton Abilities Group Improving Community (MAGIC), engage with new leadership at the City to look for additional recreational options that better suite our kids, and continue with positive dialog.

I'm thrilled that our summer was fruitful, safe and filled with a well-balanced mix of activities to nurture our kids yet not overwhelm my wife and I.  Now we tackle the day-to-day grind of school. 

No comments:

Post a Comment