closeup of Shannon's daughter holding a fish in a net

An Adventure in Summer ECC Skills: Plan a Day Trip

Little did we know we’d spend much of spring 2020 in lockdown.

Here in England, our restrictions are finally loosening and yet I feel a lingering sense of restriction. (Read: GET ME OUT OF THIS HOUSE!) Maybe you feel similarly.

How about we put those get-me-out-of-here sentiments to good use. Perhaps you and your child(ren) can work together to arrange a day trip to explore the great outdoors, social-distancing style. Give your child who is blind or visually impaired an age/developmentally-appropriate amount of responsibility in the preparations.

Consider the following to incorporate Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) practice:

-Have him/her look up the nearest beach, lake, or seaside.

-Google state parks.

-Look up your distance from the mountains, sand dunes, or a nature reserve.

If you were in my neck of the woods, you could take a jaunt in the gardens surrounding Buckingham Palace, but that’s not nice to rub in!

  • Independent living: Determine a limit to the cost of the day trip and have your child assist in budgeting. Your son or daughter explore the cost of entrance fees and food; she can calculate the cost of gas if age and developmentally appropriate. Additionally, you can work together to prepare snacks and a picnic for the journey.
  • Orientation and mobility: Your child can plan the route to your destination, or you can simply allow the GPS to voice the directions. She can also consider which cane tip would be most appropriate for the destination; if she doesn’t know, she child can ask the orientation and mobility instructor. Lastly, perhaps your child can use your or her phone as a mobility tool.
  • Recreation and leisure: Consider experiencing new outdoor pursuits. This may include biking, building a sand castle, flying a kite, skating, having a water balloon fight, swinging, fishing, pitching a tent, modified disc golf, or walking on different textures. If you or your child isn’t up for a new pursuit, simply enjoy walking, exploring, or playing in sand or water together. Talk about what you all found enjoyable or didn’t appreciate.
  • Social interaction: In order to learn or practice phone etiquette, your child can make a phone call to check on opening times or entrance fees.
  • Sensory efficiency: Take time on the outing to make observations about the environment.
  • Self-determination: Have your child consider what optical aids or devices to bring on the adventure.

It’s helpful to notice one activity can cover most all of the areas of the ECC.

And not only is planning and taking a day trip a natural context for practicing important skills, but it’s also an opportunity to bond and enjoy each other’s company. So, work together and create fond memories!

Here’s to a socially distant outdoor adventure!

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