We ASD parents don’t tend to welcome the end of the school holidays with the same enthusiasm as others. Whether you’re a working or stay at home parent.

We love the structure that a school week gives us, school holidays are like a prolonged weekend where we just can’t wait to get back to normal.

We are now thinking, and probably have been for the past couple of weeks:

That’s the daily routine out of the window for the next six weeks

That’s the bedtime schedule out of kilter

That’s the preparation beginning for September of returning them to school amidst protests

That’s the overload of energy misdirected to us that won’t be burnt off during playtimes

That’s a new teacher and few initial weeks of uncertainty upon their return

Don’t get me wrong I’m no kill joy and don’t think that teachers should work all year round – God, they need a break. 

I enjoy having some time with my boy and doing different things and I know he thoroughly enjoys it – he just finds it difficult because the routine has gone.

During a school week he will go to after school club twice in that week and be with family on the other days, this allows me to remain a full time working mum. 

I love that we have the support to be able to do this; Cameron and I both need it.

When he is at after school club he gets about an hour to an hour and a half of play time and has a snack - You can guarantee that when I arrive he will say “but mummmmm, why have you come so soon – I want to do this, this or this

Now during summer holidays he is at the school club from 8am until 5pm and this is a mammoth task for him, and he feels it “mummmmm, what took you so long to come and get me, I’m tired/have a headache”.

I fully understand that all that playing, socialising, going on trips, being on the go is a major sensory overload for him.

I feel though that this helps him adapt to the bigger world that won’t always be quiet, where he will always be expected to follow direction.

I feel that some uncomfortable elements in life are part of his learning journey. 

We love our holiday club team who have become good friends over the years and have aided in Cameron’s growth. 

I realise it’s in fact them that are the super heroes who literally work 52 weeks a year after school and during the holidays to keep our worlds turning! 

They are the ones who take our children on day trips, which make us feel less guilty about not being able to have that annual leave slot this time round.

They are the ones actually dealing with the system overload of our children who are having a day, which is out of the norm for them.

They introduce them to and encourage them to try new foods or experiences. 

We almost lost our holiday club due to government cuts, it makes me so annoyed when I think of the good that they do for all the children in their care with or without learning disabilities.

They make the holidays less stressful and keep that strand of normality in our lives throughout the whole year. 

I’d recommend and parent to try and find their local holiday club and introduce their child, even if it’s one day per week.

Thank you Lindsey and Brinnington Out Of School Club for all that you do for us!!

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