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Family holidays with a child with SN's

(35 Posts)
Thomcat Sun 17-Aug-08 09:40:33

Hi all smile

Just got back from a week in Cornwall with DP and the 3 girls.

On paper it should have been idyllic but actually is was very challenging, difficult, stressful, draining, tiring .... you get my point.

Lottie just has her own agenda, on every thing, all the time, all day. It's no one big thing just lots of different little things really. It's the complete lack of any form of co-operation. The bloody mindedness, the unbelievable stubbornness, the inability to be able to reason with her even just a little, her refusal to walk, her desire to do her own thing, on her own. It's just so hard to work in 2 other children to that and keep everyone happy. She's great but she does just makes it all so hard bless her.

So - do any of you guys know oh a holiday where there SN's children are welcomed? Where perhaps there are activities, a kids club where they would be able to entertain a child with SN's for an hour or so a day?

How do you lot deal with a family holiday or is it just a fact that there really is no such thing as a holiday in the true sense of the word and we are just going to have to deal with the fact that we'll sit there at the end of each day, drained, then grit our teeth and somehow get through the next day and the next until it's time to come home!

What a picture of doom and gloom. It wasn't all bad, there were nice moments! But generally it was challenging. smile

TC x

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 17-Aug-08 11:26:18

We haven't had a family holiday for years. We went to Ireland 4 years ago and again this year. But this year we took my Mum and Dad to help on the trip (we stayed with in-laws).

IN between we've taken ds2 and ds3 away somewhere close by for a week whilst Mum and Dad have had ds1.

We are trying our 3 nights of Featherdown Farm in a couple of weeks but it's 3 days because we know it will be exhausting. Our only hope is that ds1 will settle at around 8.30pm and at least stay in bed so we get a few hours to sit with a bottle of wine- the rest of the time will be 100% ds1 supervision. So one person will cahse ds1 the other will look after ds2 and ds3 and wash up/cook etc etc.

sarah293 Sun 17-Aug-08 12:02:04

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vjg13 Sun 17-Aug-08 12:12:54

Has anyone had an experience with the Thomas Centre, it is a collection of houses with a swimming pool that you have a booked time for exclusive use. Not sure if they can provide any childcare but maybe worth emailing them. The website looks good. In Lincs.

onlyjoking Sun 17-Aug-08 12:36:58

sounds tiring, i view holidays as a way to go away from all the paperwork phonecalls and other day to day stuff, the only sort of holiday we can do is a villa holiday, the kids have been so many times now they know the drill the villas are safe for my three so i do get to relax in between all the hands on bathing and stuff.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 17-Aug-08 13:22:02

We were thinking about trying the Thomas Centre next year- it's quite pricey though it might be for ASD - not sure whether it's for general SN.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 17-Aug-08 13:23:22

When ds2 and ds3 are a bit older we're intending to g on a Calvert Trust holiday. They run adventure holidays for families dealing with SN and I've heard very good feedback from people with profoundly autistic kids + LD's.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 17-Aug-08 13:24:41

Ah thomas centre is for 'communication impaired' children - so that should cover quite a few SN.

vjg13 Sun 17-Aug-08 13:31:47

I emailed them and they said they would be happy for all special needs, you just tell them which dates you want. Didn't get that far 'cos can't afford it this year.

onlyjoking Sun 17-Aug-08 13:43:32

my girls went to calvert with school, they did loads of stuff, not that they will tell what they did!
Thomas centre has been used by a dad at kids school he has a 12 year old asd escapee, he has been twice so must be ok. I will find out more for you if you like.
me and the kids are off to Bristol tomorrow for 2 sleeps at a mates house, not sure how that will go.

Thomcat Sun 17-Aug-08 13:49:54

Thanks everyone.

Nice to have somewhere to start so will take a look at The Thomas Centre and the Calvert Trust.

Other than that we might look at possibly having to leave her behind with grandparents until things get a bit easier generally. Hate the thought of having to do that but also not sure how I feel about another stressful holiday.

Graciefer Sun 17-Aug-08 14:20:20

I have heard the Calvert Trust is really good.

DH went to Churchtown (part of the vitalise group) in Bodmin yesterday with a group from the Phab group he volunteers with for an activity day and he was extremely impressed.

Despite the terrible rain everyone had a great time and he came home saying that he hopes that DS1 may be able to go there for some respite one day, although his escaping/running may make this impossible.

Some of the group mentioned another centre/organisation which was highly recommended, but DH can't remember the name of it, so will ask at the next Phab session on Thursday night.

sarah293 Sun 17-Aug-08 14:26:52

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r3dh3d Sun 17-Aug-08 17:01:12

We tackle it in 2 ways: we have some holidays without DD1 and some with DD1. The ones "without" we make an effort to do stuff we couldn't do with her, and she has respite at the hospice. The ones "with" we go self-catering, in fact usually we stay with my parents; although they are a bit older, it means more adults to help out and it's easier to make the place DD1-proof because they understand. We pretty much alternate. If DH can't make it out to my parents' for some reason, we pay DD1's carer to come with us. Accommodation is free, and the flights are all on air miles.

Thomcat Sun 17-Aug-08 22:35:01

The in-laws came over tonight, (cooked me a roast dinner in my own house bless them!!) and have said that next year they'll hire a house in South of France and take us all with them so they can help out and give us some time alone too.

Talk about your prayers being answered!

supportman Sun 17-Aug-08 23:05:33

Another option similar to what r3dh3d said about taking a carer, with some forward planning it might be possible to arrange with a care agency in the area you are going to provide a someone to help out?

theheadgirl Mon 18-Aug-08 00:03:57

I'm on my own with 3DD, DD3 has SN. I've only ever done self catering hols in this country, sometimes on my own, sometimes with family. And once a year exH and I take the 3 girls away together for a week. I particularly like that, as he is the one person I feel I can leave them with and I can just disappear for an afternoon to myself. This year we went to Nofolk and I went to a spa for a day myself. I can see that the reason this works though is that we are no longer a couple. Not having to try and get quality time together is not an issue, so we don't come back feeling cheated. One of the few pros amongst the many cons of divorce sad
I'm considering taking the older 2 DD away somewhere abroad, whilst DD3 stays with her Dad, as I feel they're missing out by only having hols in this country.

anniebear Mon 18-Aug-08 00:14:10

thats lovely of them TC smile

expatinscotland Mon 18-Aug-08 00:18:56

excellent news, TC.

hope this is a good solution.

pagwatch Mon 18-Aug-08 08:26:44

fwiw we have managed to have hoildays with DS2 with increasing success as he has got older.
I think that the holiday experience is something that he has had to learn to accept.
The first few hoildays were challenging but the more we do it the better we get at supporting him and the better he gets at enjoying it.
top tips are
taking a DVD player with headphones for him.
doing a schedule showing dates we fly, days we stay etc for him to stick on his wall.
booking self catering so I can feed him.
accepting that some of the time I will be in apt or villa while DH takes the other two out ( don't mind this as I love to read)
taking him swimming very early every morning so he is knackered and compliant for the rest of the day grin

I think what I am saying is that it is sometimes another thing our kids have to practice and that it can, for some, get easier.

FioFio Mon 18-Aug-08 08:29:48

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Thomcat Mon 18-Aug-08 08:39:48

It kind of helps to realise it's not just us that finds it a struggle. I felt a bit of a crap mum when I thought to myself I possibly wouldn't do another family holiday for a while.

Same shit, different views aye! wink

JimJams - hope FeatherDown works really well for you. It looks so lovely, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. Pics on FaceBook maybe????? Either way let me know how it went.

onlyjoking Mon 18-Aug-08 10:24:56

quick hijack
Riven my mate has a few things planned for us so i dont think i will have a spare minute this vist, we are going to a SN playground place if it is dry and we are going to see wall-e tomorrow at a SN screening in bristol, i wonder if there will be any MN's there if there are they will spot me herding my autie three past the sweets rather quickly wink

flyingmum Mon 18-Aug-08 12:26:04

Just back from hols. 2 weeks in the Alps. Very nice but knackering. DH had been poorly before hand and three days into the hol had very dramatic collapse by the side of a lake. blacked out completely and looked like he was going to die. All very worrying especailly as it was really busy and, of course, the car was parked miles away and you weren't allowed to drive down the access road. Anyway I did. I have to say the kids were fantastic and behaved brilliantly during this. But it meant that DH was very tired and rather 'fragile' for the first week so I had to do all the driving and the cooking etc etc etc. Son 1 (the ASD plus other stuff one) did suddenly go into a somewhat teenage mode on hols. He loves holidays but not having his usual outside space to mouch around in makes him more quirky. Each year we get a new stim or quirk. The year before last it was going on and on and on about food and the bloody cats that were where we were staying. Have obviously blotted out last year's one. This year much hilarity all round as the latest thing is burping and farting . . . He has now got a thing about not bumping into people when walking so keeps weaving infront of us in towns and that's really stressful because as well he is a bit yonderly regarding traffic etc so needs me to grab him and steer him which he objects to as he is 'an adult now' (he's 13 - but I do get his point but it's either that or being squished by mad drivers).

We did find going with Canvas or Keycamp good when he was younger. He couldn't use the kids clubs but other siblings (if you have them) could and they always have good pools. The smaller, quiter sites are good. Really recommend Rougemount in the Jura, Carantec in Brittany

Am just looking at the MOUNTAIN OF WASHING and wondering if it is every going to get done.

sarah293 Mon 18-Aug-08 13:12:44

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