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Posts tagged ‘Summer’

CARD-USF’s Water Safety Resources

May is Water Safety Month.

The topic of safety is extremely important to us here at CARD as individuals with autism are more susceptible to danger particularly drowning. Drowning is one of the main causes of death for individuals with autism and the leading cause of death for all children ages 1-4 (CDC, 2019).

At this time, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of drownings has significantly increased during the the stay-at-home orders. Many factors can be attributed to this correlation which is discussed in further detail, along with recent statistics, in an article provided by SafeKids Worldwide, Safe States & YMCA.

CARD-USF works year round on water safety education and provides resources and tools to families and other organizations in the community. At the same time partnering with  various agencies throughout our 14 counties, as well as, national organizations whose mission is to educate and empower caregivers. Thanks to donations to CARD’s Autism Services Fund, CARD has provided life jackets, swim lessons, and Josh the Otter materials to classrooms. CARD created Strategies for including children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)and created a visual with  Water Safety Rules. These strategies are designed to be utilized in collaboration with the Josh the Baby Otter book and Josh the Otter Program/Presentation Guide.

Donations allow CARD to have the opportunity to help our community further by covering the cost of printing and distribution of our created materials along with our ASD and Water Safety brochure. These same funds also provide Safety Kits to families which include items such as door alarms, stop signs and various resources.

Here in Florida, water safety is important year round; however, having a designated month to really push the initiative is a great way to prep for the Summer ahead. Below we’ve created a quick video with some of our favorite tips to practice water safety.

Video clip


Adrian Ruiz



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, February 6). Drowning Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/drowning/index.html

Summer Is Almost Here: Ways To Help Your Child Transition Smoothly

The end of school comes with mixed emotions. On one hand, it’s nice to have a break from the routine that the school year provides and on the other hand, IT’S A BREAK FROM THE ROUTINE THE SCHOOL YEAR PROVIDES! Changes in routines bring positive and negative stress and emotions. How can you help your child smoothly transition into summer?
1. Now is a good time to start talking to your child about the transition into summer time. Perhaps you can start getting their input about what they might like to do over the summer. Giving your child a sense of control is important. Although they cannot make all the decisions for themselves, incorporating their ideas makes them feel supported and validated.
2. It’s helpful to show kids a calendar so they can begin to mark off days until the last day of school. This provides a visual for kids and makes the time left in school easier to understand. They may want to pick a few days on the calendar to do something special for their teacher before the end of the year or plan a small celebration on the last day.
3. Another idea is to allow your child to take some pictures with their teacher, friends, classroom, etc. and make a little photo album to remember this year. They can even make a card for their teacher and put one of the pictures in it.
4. Over the summer, it is best to try to stick to as much of a routine as possible that mimics the school year. If you can continue to help kids stay on their same sleep schedule, even better. Waking and going to sleep at the same time during the summer will make the transition back to school in August that much easier.
5. Try to incorporate some academics over the summer. You can pick up inexpensive workbooks at bookstores or even the library that your child can work on over the summer to keep skills sharp. Make a goal for 1 page per week.
6. If your child has an IEP, pick one or two goals to try to focus on so not too many skills are lost.
7. Don’t assume your child is feeling a certain way about school ending. Talk to them about it. Let them know that however they are feeling (sad, nervous, excited, all of the above) are normal feelings that most kids feel when something is coming to an end and something new is beginning.
Erica DuPont, LCSW
ProTherapyPlus, LLC

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