If I level with you, before this Summer I can’t recall the last “school” holiday that we made it through without some physical representation of frustration. Whether that be bites, scratches or bruises from items thrown the holidays were out of routine and they were fundamentally a stressful period for everyone. I had noticed that some of the happiest times we were when would go on holiday together, with friends, family the more adults the better.
Prior to the Summer I attended an autism workshop for parents which was most helpful and compounded some of the ideas that I had already read about, one of the key elements for me was confirmation in my analytical mind. I spend a lot of time trying to decipher behaviour to make up for the lack of communication between us and A. The more you look the more you begin to see patterns, usually challenging behaviour has a cause whether that’s one that can be rectified or not is another matter. One of the big flags for me always behaviour would decline when there was only one adult and A had to share attention. Probably not that unsurprising for many children and a trait I’m hoping over time will improve but alas here we are.
Finally admitting that nothing else we were putting in place was making a difference to the holiday periods we decided to employ a nanny. What a difference, affirmation of what I had suspected all along. The difference is so apparent that I now have a changed child, one who is enjoying her childhood in the most part and is happy. Once where holidays were times in which we couldn’t go outside because as soon as A had access to any other children she would hit and push them down, refuse the go outside but finally with just increasing that adult 1:1 ratio those behaviours have reduced. Where we might have had a meltdown seven times a day now it may be once a week or less. Unbelievable, right?
Like a child in a candy store after a few days inside while everyone got to grips with each other I planned to go out most days and filled our Summer schedule completely. So with that, this is what we got up to this Summer!
Phew, if you made it down here congratulations. We also visited Marwell Zoo, had plenty of hospital appointments, assessments, therapy, soft play and parks. All in the very last day of the holidays I was sad that our long, slow days were drawing to an end. It was refreshing to leave drop off and pick up behind, to work to our own rhythm and learn through play. Goodbye Summer, hello Autumn – next to plan half term!