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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.

SN children

Holidays with SN

8 replies

PictPost · 23/02/2020 09:28

Just reading the thread about your best family holidays and it's reminded me this feels like an experience we struggle to access.

Our DS8 has SLD and ASD and needs constant supervision. He's also just not interested in many typical experiences. I feel we, and our now 3 year old, are missing out on the family holiday experience of going somewhere new and just relaxing and being together.

Anyone else feel the same? We don't have any family support bar the odd night so we either all go together or we don't go.

Anyone else discovered a way of making it work for everyone?

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Biggreen87 · 23/02/2020 10:30

Hi op,

Have you heard of the thomas centre? It basically specialises in holidays for people with additional needs and their families. The owners have a son who is autistic. Might be worth having a look at. It's the only holiday we have had which we have all enjoyed. I'm also aware of a specialist centres in Portugal and the isle of man but haven't been myself. Lea green in Derbyshire has a beautiful cottage you can rent. They do all sorts of sen family friendly activities.

We've tried abroad holidays. They where manageable when ds was small but now he's 10 it's just not possible. We don't enjoy it and neither does ds (he has the same diagnosis as your ds).

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spongedog · 23/02/2020 11:14

Hi, i relate to your post although our circumstances are different. I am a single parent with a teenager who has severe spld (and probably some autistics traits). Teenager never wanted to mix with other children growing up unless doing what they wanted, which was either very narrow in interest or overly complicated. So I dont have another child in the mix to juggle but neither do I have another adult to share. So you may need to split as a family on certain days.

So the best holidays we have had are:
(1) Bedruthan in Cornwall - easy access to a beach, food on site, great play areas, spa, kids club on site which I insisted child used once, followed by 1:1 babysitting (child insisted babysitter pushed them on the zipwire for an hour - happy child, exhausted babysitter and relaxed mum!)
(2) Unusual campsite in the centre of the Isle of Wight - took bikes & stayed in the helicopter. Child played happily on their own for hours. We did visit a few of the historical sites but child is not very interested so gets bored very easily.
(3) Craft and sport hotel in Okehampton Devon. Lots of practical things to do, for perhaps children aged 8+, but swimming pool, younger childrens play room, crazy golf, pedal cars, all food on site. Entertainment in the evening if you want it.

The theme here for me is getting mine outside - not to play in a team and not to be organised.

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jackparlabane · 23/02/2020 11:22

I have two boys with ASD. Since they were toddlers, a large house with large enclosed garden has been the way to go, because we will be spending lots of time in it. They get very attached to their holiday home. Places to go are also good - national trust gardens, exploring-type museums, shops. One is scared of sand and water and the other legs it at any opportunity, so we don't go to a beach for more than one afternoon - woods and hills are good, though. Thankfully dc1 can now cope in a car with meds, because being limited to 15 min drives or public transport was most restricting.

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jackparlabane · 23/02/2020 11:24

Best holidays were self-catering in Bavaria where there are clean toilets and deserted playgrounds every few yards. Crowds and 'family' hotels wouldn't work for us at all.

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PictPost · 26/02/2020 17:49

biggreen we've just booked the Thomas centre, such a great suggestion, massive thank you!

Lots of good suggestions here so thanks to everyone, really hoping the Thomas centre becomes first of many trips.

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MrsBobDylan · 26/02/2020 18:35

Hi Op, after many, many holiday disasters, we started camping which led to buying a very cheap static in a seaside place a 40 min drive from our home.

We can get away from March to October anytime we want, the kids love splashing in the sea, eating fish and chips and just hanging out on the campsite or in the static on their iPads.

My disabled ds loves it and I feel my 2 other ds can relax and enjoy themselves, whereas before we were all on tenterhooks waiting for ds2 to loose his shit!

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Biggreen87 · 26/02/2020 19:55

I hope you have a lovely time op!
Just a tip. All the major supermarkets will deliver there so we usually book our shopping to arrive shortly after our arrival time. Saves us a nightmare trip to the supermarket. There's also a lovely pub at the end of their road who are totally sen friendly and even asked if ds would prefer a plastic plate and beaker with a straw (yes he would!).

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lorisparkle · 26/02/2020 20:02

Whilst watching 'escape to the country' they featured a family who had created a specialist holiday centre on the Isle of Wight as their son is autistic. It looked fantastic. I have no personal experience but I think it was called Hartlands Hotel.

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