Ask An Autism Mom EP. 64

Autism Summer Tips With Ryley

We're discussing summer and how to survive it with minimal stress and minimal meltdowns.

Ryley and I have a bucket list what we do and it's super easy. First, you take a mason jar. Then, you take popsicle sticks and write a specific thing on each and every popsicle stick. Now are things range from chores to schoolwork to fun, but they're all things tailored to Ryley.

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Episode Highlights:

Looking for ways to stay sane and busy this summer? Ryely will be with us to discuss how we keep summer fun and busy.

  • Do a craft
  • Help cook dinner/lunch
  • Read a book
  • Pillow fight
  • 1 Math Page
  • Do a puzzle
  • Water gun fight
  • Play with water beads
  • Take a slime both
  • Walk around the block
  • Paint nails
  • Kinetic sand
  • Ice cream time
  • And so much more!


Hi everyone. Welcome back to ask an autism mom live with Jenn Eggert of You can join her every Monday live on Facebook to learn tips, meet other parents and share your insights. She will tackle any topic from the dreaded meltdown to the basics of how autism can affect a family.

Jenn Eggert: Don't go anywhere. This is ask an Autism mom live. Hi everyone and welcome back. To ask an autism mom live. My name is Jenn Eggert and I'm from LakiKid and today and every Monday you can join me live on Facebook to meet other parents, share your insights and learn tips and tricks. Now today's show is a little bit different. We have never attempted to have a child on our show. For those of you that do not know, this is my daughter Ryley, my inspiration for doing all of this. Okay, that's funny. So one of the thing, all of you for watching today, Ryley and I are actually going to be disgusting summer boredom and how we deal with it. So I want to welcome those watching live on Facebook or listening to our podcasts, watching on youtube. We are on so many platforms. You can find us almost anywhere.

Jenn: If you want to get alerts to join us live or ask questions live, please type the number "5" in the comments section now or go to a I want to thank all of you for coming. We have Melinda and Angela who both said hi to Riley. Say Hi.

Ryley: Hi

Jenn: So just real quick Ryley, if you're just joining us, you're listening to ask an autism mom show and we're discussing summer and how to survive it with minimal stress and minimal meltdowns. He can't wait to dig into today's topic with you, but first a huge shout out to our sponsor. First Ryley's going to show our favorite her favorite item right now, which is hold it. Okay, there we go. Hold it so they can see. This is our write and chill that we just successfully did a Kickstarter for. And I am so excited to have the kickstarter and now have the write and chill. For those of you that don't know, Ryley actually named the write and chill. So now for the main part we all know how I talk and Blah Blah Blah. Well the first thing is you need to look at what is available in your area both free and at cost. Down here we have extended school year where the children go to school through the summer so that they don't break that routine. They don't break that going to school and they don't lose what they've worked all year to achieve academically. Now after we have the extended school year, which I am so sorry to say is actually being wiped out in many, many states. I know down here it is extremely hard to get into and you can only do two weeks where it used to be most of the summer, all day. We also have options of camps. Now you can look at normal camps, you can look at special needs camps and also talk to your case manager because our case manager actually had Ryley in camp for the last couple of summers and it is based through her therapy center. The therapist who work there actually run the camp for five days and it's half a day every day and they work on social skills. They work on speaking, they work on sharing. They weren't ever, the children need. They base a fun little thing around it. They usually go on a small field trip, they do water play and that type of camp, at least where we are is free. And Ryley was therapy camp with its fun. Yeah, you got to look at the people and tell them.

Ryley: It was really fun

Jenn: So we have those types of options. We also have the option of if you are able to get it respite care to help you during the summer. Now if none of those workouts, Ryley and I have a bucket list what we do and it's super easy. I haven't made ours yet, I'm making it tonight. I meant to last night, but things got away from me. You take a mason jar, you take popsicle sticks on each and every popsicle stick. You write a specific thing. Now are things range from chores to schoolwork, too fun, but they're all things tailored to Ryley. Now. At the end of the show, I will be finishing up my blog and once my blog premiers, you will be able to opt in to get a printable file of Ryley and my bucket list and how it works is every time she says I'm bored, we pull a stick from the jar and we look at what it says and if it is possible for that moment we do it.

Jenn: If not, you put it back in and pick a different one because sometimes the play outside one when it's really raining is no fun. But sometimes the player side one, when there's puddles to jump in, it's kind of fun. So what some of the things that Ryley loves to do the most are crafts. Read a book, Math Page, spelling page, water gun fight, play with water beads, walk around the block. Kinetic sand. She also loves chores like sweeping in swift during the floors and washing the base sports. She has watermelon plants this year out. So we've been taking care of our watermelon plants. We tossed the ball around movie time and remember movie time works, especially on horrible days. Meltdown days, evenings, play with a preferred toy bake. Make slime, which she has three slime kits. So that's going to be a big thing this summer I think. What do you think Take a shower, which she happens to enjoy or that and make it fun. We actually got this stuff called slime bath. It is the weirdest thing in the world. You want to tell them about it

Ryley:Its Kind of like really, it's kind of goofy mine, but it's different because it's like in water and you have to move through it. It was kind of funny to me. And you're sitting in it. Yeah.

Jenn: Ryley also enjoys helping to cook. She enjoys pillow fights, puzzles,slime baps paint nails. Yes. Painting her nails, changing her earrings. As you can see her earrings have to match the outfit. So we've got the lady bug dress on red.

Ryley:With red rose earrings.

Jenn:We also love ice cream time. Ryley, this week has been huge. Huge, huge. Into what, what do you, what's all over my floor right now.

Ryley: Legos

Jenn: Legos and remember folks, those sensory things. feel that sensory need. What the things like Legos. They're actually really great for hand eye coordination. She also enjoys as you can probably tell it using her write and chill. We have been practicing spool and writing letters, numbers doing simple math problems on it. If you open up to the full length, you can do a simple couple of simple math problems on here. Let it dry, flip it over, do more, let it dry, do more. Ryley loves math. So if it's math or reading, you got Ryley attention. Ryley also loves to help fold laundry and we wiped the cupboards. So involve your kids in everyday activities, their home, make them help. There is no reason why an autistic child cannot do basic chores. I am sorry. It is very simple. Start with something easy. Ryley, I think we started with helping throw out the garbage and then she learned to make her bed and then she learned to do other chores, which some of her favorites, like I said, are doing the floors and the base boards and wiping cabinets. She likes when we buy groceries, she loves to help put the groceries away. So very simply it is a mixture of fun school work and chores that we try and incorporate and work through all summer long. And I'm just going to run over to the comments for one quick minute.

Jenn:Jason, I agree with you. When your child was home for the summer, it is important to follow their IEP at home. That way they don't lose the skills that way. They don't lose the muscle memory in some cases for certain things and they're on the same routine so that when school comes back, you're not hurting. They are actually ready to transition back into school. So Jason, that was a wonderful idea. Melinda says, my son is enrolled in the extended school year. Melinda, I hope he enjoys it and I hope you get a lot more than we do down here because it really is an amazing program and can really benefit our children. If your area is cutting out the extended school year and you feel your child would benefit, please, please, please fight for your child. Fight for all children that got it taken away. Now we have Angela who says they're a special needs class, only picks the higher students in class to do summer school. And it's only two weeks. See here where the opposite here we have two groups. We have the reading program for students who are struggling readers. Well Ryley is most definitely not a struggling reader.

Ryley: I am at Level J

Jenn: She is level J at her school, which means she is actually partway into second grade reading level and she just finished first grade. So we have that for readers. We also have camps for honor students in elementary school, middle school where they can go and practice their skills. But again, it's for honors students. So it kind of excludes our special needs students who really need the help but don't fall into needing help reading because they need help and all areas, social skills, math, reading, science, whatever the subject.

Jenn: So Jason says, my son to be four year old loves to help cook. And I mean, he has a meltdown if he doesn't get to help cook, who here has meltdowns when they don't get to help Exactly. Jason, we understand. An easy way to do this, Jason would be to do a schedule, a visual schedule. If you need help figuring it out. I would be glad to show you how we have some examples, wonderful examples actually. But I would do a schedule and I would say certain days he gets to help put it on the schedule and that morning wake up and you say to him, Oh, today daddy cooks or today mommy cooks or today you and I get to cook together. Buddy isn't that fun So maybe having that visual schedule of the days he can cook and as long as you get up before him to change the visual schedule, depending on how you feel, you should be good.

Jenn: Hi Kimberly and Kimberly. You're right. Legos are an amazing tool for math skills. They can count how many are on the brick. If they're beginning count, they can count the bricks, they can sort them into colors, they can, I've seen them used for fractions. So there's so many ways. If you're a Pinterest person, please Pinterest lego learning skills, you would be shocked at what they have now. Also Legos, if you buy the bigger, the DUPLO ones. We did this with her when she was little. We bought the DUPLO ones and we wrote random letters on them. Now when she would put them together, they would spell simple words. She would find the c, the a, the t, what's that spell


Jenn:Cat. So that's how she actually learned how to spell and read was these Legos, the big duplos that had letters that she could do.

Jenn: Also fridge magnets are another way that are a little cheaper and more affordable. Just remember if you use fridge magnets by multiple sets, because we only have limited letters, so we usually have about six or seven cheaper kicking around. That way we have enough for letters. Also, I don't know if you heard summer is over and I need to put up her new word wall, but I have a wall on my, in my house where I put the words that I want her to learn. And every day we point to the words and she reads them. And then when she masters reading them, she spells them without looking. We, she has to turn your back to the wall and spell the word that I read. Yes, Mary also look into library summer activities. Unfortunately, our library is not that great and only open a little bit.

Jenn: One minute. Okay. So Mary, you're right. Local libraries offer amazing prizes. Also, if you join the reading program, now, I'm not sure if it's going on again this year, but check with your local pizza hut. They often have a reading program for the summer as well. If you read so many books, you earn a free mini pizza. Now we have from a jack that says, hi Ryley. Do you want to tell everyone who jack is

Ryley:Jack is my Big Brother

Jenn: Jack is your Big Brother. I can Jason, I understand with him being nonverbal, it's extremely hard. You may be sitting here looking at Ryley's saying, but she talks so well. She's looking, Jason, I can tell you it took us years and we're not even done yet. This is going to be a lifelong process. It is hard. But Riley was nonverbal until three, so I get it. And then she started with sign language and then she started with small words and animal sounds for some reason she loved animal sounds. So we did the animal sounds to get her to start using her vocal cords to get her to start understanding

Jenn: And I know Jason, I understand how you figure out what they want and how they want it. So that is our part. Now Riley, would you like to tell anyone about what you'd like to do in summer
Riley: I am doing swimming pools floats in really tiny. Got To make a lot of beach.

Jenn: You like the beach, you do, you're my little fishy. But you see you, you mix a combination of going places, work chores and it really balanced out. Angela says, I have two non verbal in the seven year old started copying movies. Echolalia is actually what you're probably seeing and Echolalia folks is extremely common, but let them do it because guess what They're using speech. I have seen children who only speak the way the movie spoke. So if you ask them, are you okay They will copy a line from a movie telling you how they feel. So it's actually not a bad thing. Now, Jason Asks Ryley, what is your favorite animal tell Jason

Ryley: Dogs

Jenn: And we'll kind of songs or songs sound. Does the dog make that bark can you make the barking sound and what do you like to pretend when Ryley is bored, she likes to pretend she is a what

Ryley: Dog

Jenn: And how do you pretend you're a dog Show them how you pretend you're a dog.

Ryley: Arf Arf Arf

Jenn: That's actually part of how she communicates with us when we see or communicate as a dog. We know that she is overwhelmed and we remove everything and try again. Now our bucket list is, I'm going to admit a little bit complex for some families. Don't exactly follow mine. Take a few days, sit down. Every time you think of something your child enjoys, do it. Write it down. Use it as a bucket list item. If your kid enjoys walking across the street to play in a field, go for it. Maybe after a while of playing just solitary playing in the field, maybe you can bring a ball and you can engage them in playing with you because we all know that playing together as important as you can see, Ryley constantly needs to move. You can show them what you were just doing. She constantly needs to move this week. It's a hair band on her arm, so just kind of go by what your child needs and wants. Now Ryley is open to taking any questions. If anyone has questions for her. She said she will try and answer them today and she's actually going to start trying to read some of your questions.

Jenn: Jason, my son is starting to try singing with his favorite songs. Jason, that was our, I literally have a video somewhere on Facebook of Ryley in her iPad and we had downloaded songs that came with sign language. Well we got a new puppy one day and we found Ryley beside the box with the puppy showing the puppy the sign language and because of copy wouldn't look at the sign language on the screen. She got frustrated and actually started to verbalize. So that was really important. That was in a really important step for her based on with the singing coming to now. Okay. Jason has another question for you. Can you read that does okay. Right there. Let me go. I was going to put it right there for you. Okay. Read it out loud.

Ryley: Does she like to sing? Yes.

Jenn:Yes you do. What's your favorite kind of songs

Ryley: Taylor Wwift.

Jenn: Taylor Swift. You also love the Cup Song. You love happy. Remember God said happy so yes she does. Angela asks another question. Can you read Angela's questions for me That's right here where my make it up, I remember my guess putting them where you can see it.

Ryley: What is your most favorite thing to do in the summer?

Jenn: I know what your favorite thing this summer was. We started summer break two weeks ago.Right after they got out of school her grandparents took her on vacation. She got to do something that she has always dreamed of doing. Her grandmother and grandfather were looking at pumplets trying to find something to do for the day. Riley saw pumplet for what?

Ryley: Horseback riding.

Jenn:Horseback riding, so she actually got to try horseback riding this summer in that Papa was saying no granny did it because granny grew up on a farm. Big Brother did it cause it was fun and Papa waited the hour in the car because he was a chicken, right.

Jenn: It was not two and hour baby. Do you think it was two hours Okay. So as you can hear, Riley really enjoy summer but she does miss her teachers and her friends. So we do find that hard, especially in our area. There's no such thing as play dates anymore. It really bothers me. When I was a kid actually when her 15 year old brother was a kid, he was in play dates. We had a free place center where you can go and play every day if you wanted and they had arts, crafts, snacks. So we really were involved when he was younger.

Jenn: So Jason has a another thing to say to you. You have a great day Riley and teach your mom something new. Now let's look at what Melinda has to say. One Minute I was going to put right there.
Riley: What is your favorite car activity to do? I pack a bag with barbies.

Jenn:Tell them don't tell me what you pack your pack a bag.

Riley:I Pack a bag with barbies and also drawing stuff to draw this drawing car and books and sometimes I Kendall, yes can though.

Jenn: And every time we go somewhere we bring something different from LakiKid to keep her engaged. Like I said right now her new favorite is the write and chill. So she is really enjoying that.

Ryley: And also the Marble Maze

Jenn: Oh yes. You love the Marble Maze. You love almost everything though. You're pretty happy girl. So Ryley and I are so excited that we actually got to do our first show together after a year and a half of me doing this. And folks, if you have more questions for Ryley, you can ask them in the group and I will. Well what I'll do is if you have more questions for Ryley, go ahead, ask them in group and I will do a video response from Ryley. Okay. Deal. So thank you everyone so much for joining us today. We really appreciate all the love, support and help that you give us. You can join me live every Monday at 1:00 PM eastern to meet other parents, share tips and learn something new. Remember, you can always join our parent's support group at and I am there all the time. Now we have one last person who just joined a minute ago. You know this Jason.

Jenn: This is Jason. That's Mommy's boss, right What did he say Good.

Ryley: Good Mroning Ryley!

Jenn: Would you say thank you.

Ryley: Thank you.

Jenn:So folks again, if you have any questions for Ryley, feel free to post them in group and Ryley will be doing video responses. Let's try something new. I want to thank all of you for joining us. This really means a lot for me to be able to use my passion, which is autism awareness and actually bring the reason why I do everything on the show and share her with the world. Remember, she is now almost eight years old and this has not been an easy quiet journey. It is very difficult, so thank you everyone for joining us. Mary says, have a good day. Thank you all for joining. We can't wait to hear back from you next time. Thank you and remember every child brings goodluck.

Free parents support group the show live or ask your question. That'll be thanks for joining us today with Jen Eggert. You can join her live every Monday at 1:00 PM eastern on Facebook to learn more information about how to join our free parents support group, watch the show live or ask your question. That'll be answered live by Jenn on an upcoming show. Please visit forward/ask is LakiKid so ask her questions as she is willing to tackle whatever topic you need. If you like our show, please leave us a review on iTunes or stitcher. Your review will enable us to help more families.

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