DFW Camp Expo

Preparing Neurodiverse Kids

DFW Camp Expo-The Novus Academy

Preparing Neurodiverse kids for Spring Break, excitement is in the air for children all over the metroplex. Everyone is looking forward to Spring Break coming soon!  For many this means time to relax, enjoy some downtime without schedules, maybe even taking a vacation as a family.  For families with neurodiverse children, you may be approaching spring break with a sense of dread. 

Preparing Neurodiverse kids by using outdoor art.

Routine helps Neurodiverse kids prepare

Neurodiverse children thrive with familiar routines, familiar surroundings, and familiar people.  Adding in the smallest amount of change to their world can send them into a downward spiral of emotional meltdowns, chaos and stress for them and their whole family.  Does this mean that neurodiverse children should not enjoy a fun spring break?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  What it does mean is that for parents to help their children find success, they should prepare!

Here is a list of Ways to help our neurodiverse children (and all children really) have a fun and exciting Spring Break.


Prepare, prepare, prepare.  Do a little research and make a list of the activities you would like to do for the week.  Have your children help select the activities.


Make a schedule for your day.  Pick one big activity to do each day, try to go early in the day when there are not as many people and schedule some downtime as well.   We call this “toes up time” in our house (because your toes should be off the floor-ex, laying on the couch or your bed)


If you are going to a hotel, print off some pictures of where you are going ahead of time and show your child every day leading up to the hotel stay.  Get pictures online of the lobby, the rooms and even the pool.  Talk about the expectations of staying in a hotel (walking feet, inside voice, etc.)

Things to do when Traveling

Speaking of hotels, pick one with a pool!  Most children like to swim.  If you can find a hotel with an indoor pool or a heated outdoor pool, it will help your children be excited about their trip.

If you are going to visit your family, show them pictures of your family members.  Talk to your child about what your family’s expectations are ahead of time.  Talk to them about where they will sleep at Grandma and Grandpas house, where they can go if they need a break, etc.

Remember that when traveling, children are often tired and cranky.  Vacations start to feel more like trips.  If you have strict screen time rules, you may want to ease up a little while in the car or at a restaurant.  It may help everyone have a more enjoyable time.

Spend Time Outside

Be outdoors as much as possible!  Children today do not spend enough time outdoors.  If the weather is nice on spring break, do some outdoor activities.  Go for a nature walk, go to the park, wash cars and bikes outdoors, paint boxes, play with shaving cream on the porch.  Don’t be afraid to get messy and dirty! 

Keeping Routines

Make routines at home a little more fun and exciting.  Grab some glow sticks at the dollar store and throw them in the bath during bathtime.  Have the children help with preparing dinner.  Play some fun music when doing routine things like the dishes. Routines help prepare Neurodiverse kids.

Do the Best you Can

Don’t be afraid to tell people no.  If you have a day planned and you can tell your child just needs to take a little break for the day, just reschedule. 

Realize that things may not go as planned and that is ok!  Try to find reasons to say “yes” to your children instead of always telling them “no”.  Enjoy the days and realize they will pass quickly!


Amy Richard, MS, CCC-SLP/CALT

Head of School at The Novus Academy