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Every parent always wishes to see their children having fun, especially during the holidays; and in summer, why not enjoy activities under the sun! But in fact, almost every year when the break comes after the long months of school, parents face the same perplexity, especially when the children are young: What are they going to do this summer? How will they spend the long hours of the day having fun? This reality also overshadows the thinking and decisions of parents of children with behavioral and/or developmental or learning difficulties, such as children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, or those who have difficulty concentrating due to hyperactivity.

If a child has special needs, for a successful summer vacation, parents are advised to set goals that are important for him or her and to set priorities. For example, if a child has progressed and acquired new skills during the school year, one of the most important objectives of the summer holidays should  be to maintain these achievements because the ability to relearn is always much more difficult than to maintain and develop them. For some children, we can talk about math skills; for others it may be reading, writing. The main thing is to make sure that the child continues to practice. It is important to keep a summer diary to improve memory abilities, as it is useful to keep a folder of pictures. The objective is to help the child feel that he is breaking away from the school routine while maintaining the knowledge and skills he has acquired.

It is very important to always remember as parents that when the holidays arrive, especially if the child has special needs, there should be ideas for activities ready to pass the time without getting bored. Parents should strive to resist children’s tendency to be lazy and to undertake non-constructive behavior when there is no daily schedule such as that imposed by the school system, i.e. when the child does not know what to do during the day. For example, the mother can establish a schedule for household chores, with times for playing, reading or other activities. It is important to include in these tables enough free time so that the child can choose how to spend his time. Most of the time, the lack of structure can lead to harmful behaviors for the child.

It is important to note that sometimes it is difficult to achieve the set goals because of fights between children. It is therefore very important to be aware of this fact and try to overcome it. There are things that can be tried, such as taking turns (mom and dad), which means mom and dad take turns doing activities with each child individually. It is not wrong to choose to enroll one child in summer camp or in an activity such as gymnastics, while the other child stays with the mother or father and engages in activities or hobbies. time.

When a child has special needs, when it’s time to plan their summer vacation, parents are advised to set goals

In conclusion, it remains to say that summer vacation is also a time to take care of children’s social and cognitive skills. We can take trips that involve exercise and hiking for example. These field trips have proven to be very effective in improving cognitive skills and keeping the child ready to return to school with an appetite to learn new things.

With rapid climate change affecting our health and livelihoods, and with the recent resurgence of epidemics, enjoying summer as we knew it in the last century when we were young, especially during summer camps, is an undesirable option for many parents and many families find it better to drop it especially after the severe economic crisis. Due to financial constraints, camp or institution may not be an option for many, leaving children vulnerable to neglect and/or unconstructive behavior and/or laziness and/or spending long hours in front of mobile phone screens or tablets, and this has consequences that can be undesirable. Children need to socialize with their peers and the services of specialized education experts so that they do not lose what they have learned and often learn new skills and information.


For advice to children on the effects of electronic games and other issues please consult the SKILD center page, see the series of tales in Arabic language خبرونا كيف

Maysa Hajj

Maysa Hajj joined LSESD in September 2020 as the Senior Administrative Officer. Maysa is not a newcomer to the LSESD community. She returned to LSESD after a brief interruption of a journey that lasted 7 years (from 2011 until 2019). Working at LSESD turned out to be the ultimate environment for sharing the knowledge and skills she had learned and developed over nearly 10 years of university studies at the American University of Beirut and another 10 years serving at the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World at the Lebanese American University.

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