Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

Doing Summer Right

ID-100110516Like every other parent, I am wracked with feelings of inadequacy and failure when it comes to special needs parenting. I wonder if I am patient yet firm, supportive yet unbending in my expectations, and if I balance “work” and “play” appropriately. Long after the dust settles from our busy day and the boys are sleeping cherubs, self-doubt and second guesses run rampant. Especially in the summer, when school is out and we tend to take breaks from OT/PT/SPT.

But this summer is different.

This summer we are in limbo: temporarily housed in a crumbling colonial in New England, waiting for the hubs to finish schooling before his next command. This summer, we are all fish out of water. We are sans ABA support, without appointments of any kind, without responsibilities. Terrifying, no?

We are left to our own devices…and I LOVE IT!We wake still at the crack of dawn due to our son’s inability to ever sleep in, but after that, it’s a leisurely pace. We have breakfast, meander around to getting dressed when we feel like it, and do whatever we want.

I only have two requirements. The boys must do two pages of work in their kindergarten workbooks and review sight words, and then do a bit of reading. Nothing crazy. Nothing stressful. And, knock on wood, it is wonderfully successful. In fact, I could really get used to this.

we’ve joined then”Y” and an adaptive swim class. Tuesdays are Field Trip Tuesdays. We take advantage of free programs at the library. We’re like a “normal” family!

Only better.

Because this is a magical escape from our reality. It’s a time free (thus far) from meltdowns, stripping, and SIBs.

I have no doubt the other shoe will drop. And soon.

but for now, I am enjoying every minute of this miracle summer.

Postcards are on their way. “Wish you were here!”


Kelly is a Navy wife and mother to three children; 16 year old NT, 6 and 5 year old boys on the spectrum; and, since life was getting a touch boring, she’s added a bun in the oven. Kelly has been featured in a collection of essays on special needs children entitled, “Wit and Wisdom From the Parents of Special Needs Children.” She can also be found at, and as a guest blogger throughout the blog-iverse. In her spare time, Kelly is the Blog Master for, and member of, the Military Special Needs Network Executive Board. You can contact her via email at

Photo courtesy

3 comments on “Doing Summer Right

  1. waitingroommom
    July 5, 2013

    It is good to take a break from the intensity of special needs. I used to think of it as a cycle with my daughters and refused to feel guilty when there was a lull between a spate of appointments and interventions. Sometimes we just need to enjoy our children.

  2. maria
    July 5, 2013

    I never let the would failure enter in my mind when it comes to my three kids with special needs. I have seen regression with my own eyes to know that routines and continuing ABA therapy through the summer is for us. In ABA therapy we doing reading and writing and many things. Yes we go to the pool but the morning is to the routine and continue that schedule so when school comes we go right in with no problems. I know I have such little time to make big leap in their learning. But I focus they need to living an independent life . While my hubby goes TDY for 2- 3weeks at a time I will do my duty of progress. Making sure Tricare knows we taking advantage of ABA therapy for our kids while it lasts.

  3. Pingback: When Mommy Needs Reminding | Military Special Needs Network

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2013 by in All, Family, Motivation and tagged , , .
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