School is out and summer has finally arrived. For many families, transitioning from daily routines guided by the education system, to a less formal schedule can be challenging. This is especially true for families who rely on special education services to support children who have a serious emotional disturbance or developmental disability.
Experts from Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority (OCCMHA) encourage parents to remember that after school lets out, it is important that children and their families maintain a structured day. The amount of structure depends on each family.
They recommend that parents establish at least three goals to identify new learning experiences. At the top of their list are ideas for activities in Oakland County that have little or no cost:
• Explore your local, County and State parks
• Attend day and/or overnight camps
• Plant and maintain a garden
• Take an art class
• Learn to cook, sew or repair something
• Visit your local library
• Help a neighbor in need
• Attend movie nights or concerts in the parks
More suggestions for inexpensive summer family fun experiences can be found online at Oakland County Moms.com, Metroparent.com, and DestinationOakland.com. Summer in Michigan is short, so children and families should make the most of their free time in the sun and have fun.
Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority is the public mental health system responsible for identifying, influencing, and delivering services and supports to more than 23,000 Oakland County residents, including adults and children with developmental disabilities; adults with serious mental illness or substance use disorders; and children with serious emotional disturbance.
OCCMHA’s network of service providers include: Common Ground, Community Housing Network, Community Living Services, Community Network Services, Easter Seals Michigan, Macomb-Oakland Regional Center, Oakland Family Services, Inc., and Training and Treatment Innovations. For more information about OCCMHA call (800) 341-2003 or visit www.occmha.org.