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How to relax - where do you go for holidays/breaks ADHD

(8 Posts)
Catgotyourbrain Tue 04-Nov-14 12:47:44

Finally got a diagnosis of ADHD for DS1 (8.5) last week, which I'll post on separately.

We all went away for a break last minute at the weekend. Luckily found a deal on a v nice hotel with a v large room with extra beds to fit all 5 of us in. I have yet to have relaxing holiday and this was no exception. I thought that as there was a pool we might enjoy it. DS2 & DS3 are also pretty full on (keeping my eye on DS3 for similar to DS1).

So we had a spectacularly un-relaxing few days. Swimming pool lasted 20 mins max until DS1 pushed DS3's head under water, refused to listen, pulled him along into the deep bit, and had to be removed from pool, same next day (only lasted that long because nobody else in there). DP went for a massage so I tried to get them out of the hotel to seafront. during course of 10 minutes both younger DSs were whacked around the head in corridor, running off in corridor. various children trying to escape via lift, barreling down staircase and off down the lounge. having to be physically removed from the vintage glass revolving doors, punching me in the breasts for said removal, refusal to hold hands to cross main road (and subsequent hanging off me/hitting me when I said we wouldn't cross otherwise), and pushing smaller brothers off walls and jumping on them on grass, throwing pebbles on the beach, wielding large pebbles at me as if to throw at me, throwing sand. That's in ten minutes. We also had 5 am wake ups and children running around at 11.30 pm jumping on each other and bashing me with a book demanding a story. I lay awake the last night worrying because it was so hot we had to have the window open and we were on the second floor.

This sort of thing is permanent and continuous. It's destroying my resolve, my view of my own sanity and ability to control them, and to be honest my sense of self. Its excruciatingly embarrassing too.

Where do you go? what's you best holiday? If you had money what would you do - take someone with you to help??? I don't know what would help. Self catering is bloody hard work and no guarantee of a house they won't destroy or hurt themselves on. Cheap hotels don't have stuff to do in them. Small hotels are no match for my children. Medium sized hotels usually require me to book two interconnecting rooms (three children) and often that costs same as one mini-suite in a nicer hotel. Villa with pool? no way would I sleep at night. Villa complex - worried they would run off unless I knew it already. Kids clubs? I reckon DS1 would be chucked out after first session.

I'm being incredibly defeatest - please share your good holiday stories.....

Catgotyourbrain Wed 05-Nov-14 10:00:01

Anyone? Thanks for ideas- or suggestions of actual specific places?

Tambaboy Wed 05-Nov-14 10:27:37

That sounds really hard. Sorry I have no experience of ADHD but my ds (almost 8) has ASD and we love going camping.
There are quite a few campsites where you can hire a large isolated area just for yourselves. Maybe going with other friends and family that you get on with?
Cool camping website is very good.

CurrerBell Wed 05-Nov-14 10:44:23

That sounds really tough. sad My DS is 8 and has similar behaviours (ASD with PDA) and can be hyperactive at times. I remember that sinking realisation a few years ago that being on holiday was so much harder than it is being at home! (And I am forever scarred from DS once letting himself out of our holiday cottage when he was a toddler...) But we have adjusted and now do it for the kids' sake and have it geared around them, rather than expecting to relax, if that makes sense? Then any good times are a bonus.

We also tend to combine holidays with visiting family, so it feels like the week has a purpose even if it doesn't really feel like a holiday.

We spent a week up in Yorkshire this summer visiting family. I did notice that all the times that 'should' be relaxing really aren't - for example in cafes DS will hide under the table and get upset about the food choices. The things that work better for us are visiting kid-friendly museums and mainly getting out into nature, e.g. walking up on the moors and in the Dales which we really enjoyed. It helps to get away from other people and do something active - it really helped DS to calm down. This is probably not everyone's idea of a holiday I know!

Be kind to yourself after the diagnosis. flowers

Catgotyourbrain Wed 05-Nov-14 11:15:30

Thanks yes that all sounds familiar (even though not diagnosed with ASD in the assessment he does have oppositional behaviours, sensory issues, compulsions and finds change hard - they say that its on their radar to watch but he doesn't come up on the Ados score for ASD)
It's funny because I take them to lots of museums because novelty seems to make them attend a little (I'm talking 'them' because my DTs are not easy and are incredibly active and sometimes impulsive too)

It's funny because people actually comment that I take them out a lot in the hols (we live in London so lots of free museums)- it's hard to explain that not 'doing' something in a day isn't an option if you want to avoid every toy and all bedclothes being strewn around the house and WW3 too. I think they think I'm forcing them to enjoy museums ( they love them - I know lots of kids don't).

Camping is the 'least worst' option IME but not relaxing because of potential hazards: DS1 can't really play sensibly in a playground with DTs (pushed DS3 backwards down a slide last week); nor can he be relied on not to run off past boundaries into fields and woodlands and over streams (even through barbed wire). DTs lose sense of reality and follow blindly, so it means I have to be chasing them back to within sight the whole time. DS1 can be heard shouting across campsites and also has impulses to swing and flick ropes and sticks compulsively. If he gets on a rope swing he does really stupid things and we have to be vigilant the whole time. He can't go on a trampoline either If anyone is on it as is liable to jump on them ( these seem to be standard suggestions to expend energy for ADHD - how do you police them?).
As its so hard to get them to sleep camping (and hotels ) v difficult.

Self catering is dependent on a house and hard to tell until you get ther - like the many houses where they can get out by themselves (we have a lock on our door they can't get out of) or the upstairs windows don't have locks, or there is an axe over the fire (kid you not), etc.
I was looking at City breaks on air bnb the other day and lots of lovely apartments in Vienna and Paris but with balconies or roof gardens - there is just no way...

Sorry to sound so negative but there must be somewhere.

I'm thinking in a couple of years we could force the (now 6yo) DTs to do hiking in the lakes or such..
Ive seen lots of SEN families camping in quieter sites and its looks lie they are enjoying themselves BTW

Elizabeth22 Wed 05-Nov-14 14:57:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Catgotyourbrain Wed 05-Nov-14 17:33:26

Oh interesting, thanks. I will check it out. I've heard the Butlins hotel is ok but last time I looked the prices were whacked up for school hols

streakybacon Thu 06-Nov-14 11:29:59

I've only got one dc and that definitely makes a difference. We go to the same self catering cottage in Northumberland every year, and we walk and walk and walk. It knackers ds and when we get back to base he just wants to chill with his DS or computer (we take the laptop with us).

We've had some awful short breaks when ds has refused to be part of family plans. Ive found the trick to be short activities and lots of switching from one to another, to keep his head occupied, because he can't stay focused on one thing for too long.

I think they key is to find something with few distractions (campsites and holiday camps would have been disastrous for ds when he was younger, though he'd cope now at 16), but having a home base of a holiday cottage works well for us because he's got his own space which he can set up as he likes it, somewhere to retreat to when he needs it.

Oh, and I make sure he still has his household chores to do when we're away, things like emptying the bin and drying the dishes, setting the table etc, so that he sees holidays as a shared experience where we ALL deserve a break. It's not just about him.

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