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Time For The Summer Holidays

Ann Hickman by Ann Hickman Additional Needs

Ann Hickman

Ann Hickman

Mum to three, special educational needs writer and part-time tutor

Schools are breaking up and the kids are getting excited – or at least some of them are.

The break from routine can be difficult for some kids with special educational needs.

So what is supposed to be (according to the Oxford Dictionary) ‘An extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling’ doesn’t always feel like it straight away,

Coping is generally more the idea than relaxing during most of the break from school.

Whilst most parents are glad when September comes back around, we find our lot have only just got into the routine of not being at school.

We then have a few weeks where it’s time to adjust back into the old routines again.

It’s often complicated by new classrooms or teachers, or both.

Next term David will be having packed lunch instead of school dinners so we will see how that works too.

But that doesn't mean we’ve had a terrible break.

On the contrary, it’s about grabbing the moments when they happen.

Finding that period between the adjustments where the kids are happy and then working around what works for them.

Aiming for places that aren’t too busy – even if that means going on the days when it looks like it might rain.

This is especially the case for things like big attractions, beaches or events.

Going away to places where we can have our own space and own catering is really important for us.

Our kids need space to move about as David is very sensory seeking and Anthony’s ADHD means he is always on the move.

Fully inclusive buffet style eating does not work for us as we can’t leave our kids at a table and they can’t carry food.

They are unable to eat a lot of the food available due to restricted diets and we can’t leave them at a table so self-catering for us!

And while we may not seem to spend the whole holiday period ‘entertaining’ the kids and spend more time helping them adjust, it’s still a break from the norm and this in itself is something important for our autistic kids to learn to deal with.

Each year this adjustment period seems either a little easier or a little shorter and the ‘holiday’ period seems longer, and that’s something to be pleased about come September at least.


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