Taking H on holiday is both brilliant and exhausting (we don’t do perfect holidays). They say it’s good to switch off from real life but there is no ‘off switch’ when it comes to Autism and special needs parenting. 

We are so thankful and blessed that my family want to come on holiday with us. They make it possible to have a good time away. We couldn’t manage our chosen type of holiday without them.  

There have been some very funny moments with H’s ASD this holiday and of course some hard things too.

Five things which made us laugh…

  • H has some great new learnt phrases that have come out, and of course they come with accents to match!
    • ‘Will you just stop talking…you talk too much!’
    • ‘Follow me friends’
    • ‘this must be the perfect spot…let’s sit here’
  • H loves carousels and seeing him squeeze into his favourite vehicles to have a turn has made us laugh. He is so determined when he wants to be and gets a great sensory experience from the music, spinning and metal to lick!
  • We had an ‘oops’ moment when we were reminded of H’s literal understanding again. We asked him to do a wee in the sea and he reluctantly agreed – we then had a quick exit when he went to the sea and pulled his swimming shorts down which makes perfect sense of course. Oh H!
  • His love of people going down water slides is ever growing. He will stand and jump, shriek and wave his arms (stimming) as others go down the slides. As un-PC as it is the fatter the person the more excited he gets as the splash will be bigger! He gets so much enjoyment from it and especially when family members have a turn too.
  • H has learnt how to pose for photos and it’s brilliant! He never used to like his photo being taken and often doesn’t look at the camera but this holiday was different. He was asking for his photo and standing still long enough to take it. Evidence to follow…..

H has fully embraced the holiday life with lots of treats, ice creams and little routines have helped him be less anxious. The sea seems to calm him and we have had some very special times at the beach.

H has shown a really caring side to this holiday and he’s fiercely protective of his own. This does have its limitations for example he doesn’t like it if we go too far out in the sea and he keeps checking we can stand up in the water.

H posing at the beach

A change as good as a…

Holidays aren’t restful these days but they are a welcome break in routine and a chance to make memories similar to the ones I enjoy of my childhood holidays. They were a real highlight!

Social stories, countdowns and constant reassurances and reminders help H to manage. We tell him everyday that we will go home, not something he assumes! 

We have been reminded this holiday of lots to be thankful for and the progress H has made this year.  It’s not without hope! We have made sure to keep some things familiar such as Peppa Pig and chocolate milk before bed. 

H may not talk about holiday when we return home but I will be printing off photos to act as a prompt for conversation. I wish we could take the sea, sun and extra adult help home with us but I guess then it wouldn’t feel like a holiday for those two precious weeks a year. 

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