Happy holidays – CenterParcs here we come

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As I pack for our trip to CentreParcs, I can feel my stress levels going up. My son’s begging me to bring his Hoover with us (he doesn’t like the Henry vacuums provided in the villa) – should I, shouldn’t I? What was I thinking – one week away, on my own with two children, one of whom has Asperger’s! Sharing my anxieties with family and friends only makes me feel more guilty and ungrateful – “stop being negative”, “you’ll have a great time”, “it will be fine” they tell me.

I’m trying to be positive but I have this habit of checking out various online autism sites. This is what I came across this morning:

• Other parents’ moving stories about their struggle to cope with their autistic child/children over the summer – mainly mums exhausted from trying to meet their child’s complex needs (sensory, social, emotional) or partners looking forward to a relaxing break only to feel frustrated when faced with the reality of coping with a challenging child at home;
• An inspiring post by Laura Rossi on the website ‘Scary Mommy’ – “Hating Summer as a Special Needs Mom”. Definitely worth a read. Here are a few extracts that made me feel I was not alone: “As a Special Needs Parent, I find myself hating summer; the first days fill me with a mixture of terror, guilt and anxiety”, “I used to love summer … Now, I find myself wishing away the entire season”, “Special Needs Parenting is challenging 365 days of the year … summer is unique because it is long and most special needs children expect the routine, support, predictability and familiarity of the school year”. “In a word, summer is anything but easy living for us”.

Thankfully, I came across a few websites offering useful tips for getting through the summer whether you go away or stay at home. Check out: autismparenthood.com – Vacation tips for kids with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.

Happy holidays to all my followers. Hope you manage to relax and take time out for yourselves.

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