Tag Archives: Butlins Ambassador

We’ve Booked Our Holiday

10 Oct

Do, I feel organised? Hell yes.

It’s very rare that I’m able to be so prepared. Although booking holidays in advance when your child is on the autism spectrum is really an absolute must, things almost certainly never work out as planned for me.

Some may remember a few months back when I excitedly announced that we were chosen as one of 40 family’s to become a Butlins Ambassador. Well, I’ve been thinking about booking our break for a while but wanted to ensure I made the right resort, accommodation, and catering choices before doing so.

I’ve been given the opportunity to really plan this holiday around the whole families needs and this has allowed me to really step back and think things through when deciding on the best options for little man in particular.

Although we experienced quite a few hiccups during the Tots 100 Christmas party break at Butlins. I do put the majority of this down to the fact we got tickets so late on in the day. This combined with the fact that we wasn’t able to take the children to the actual bloggers meal and party was a bit stressful for little man and me having to dash away caused him some anxiety.

This break is a true family occasion and I won’t be doing any dashing of any sort whatsoever.

The fact that Butlins have a really scheduled time table that little man can follow is absolutely perfect. We found that just having the iPhone App that displayed the daily listings of what was happening at what times made organising what to do really easy. We actually got the app at least a week before leaving so had plenty of time to create little man his very own schedule.

I’m pleased that this year my mum and good family friend Donna will be joining us. This means that all the children can enjoy all aspects of the holiday and I won’t feel like I need to rip myself in half to please them all.

So, our break is booked for the Easter Holidays (1st-5th April 2013). We will be staying 4 nights and coming back home the day before my birthday. This should give me plenty of time to fully organise the trip and prepare the little man.

We are staying in the new Wave hotel at Bognor which is recommend more towards older children of both Alice’s and little man’s age. I’m hoping this will really suit him (they have ps3 in the games room so that should be a winner). Another great aspect is that they both each get their own TV at the end of their bunk (not that we are planning on watching a lot of tv) but what a way to avoid arguments.

I do feel really excited about our next break and have made it my mission to be as prepared as possible.

Here’s a couple of tips if your planning on taking a child away with autism or Aspergers during any of the pending half terms.

1) Book in advance to enable yourself time to plan efficiently.

2) Make sure the child on the spectrum knows when and where you are going.

3) Make an events board. I have done this simply by making a timeline that shows where we are going and in how many days. I do this with all events and occasions that little man needs to prepare for, not just holidays.

4) Try to use real life visuals for your events board. Take these from pictures or Brochures.

5) Let your child explore the designation online. Little man will be checking out the new Butlins website this evening.

6) if you have any worries or concerns make sure these have been discussed with the booking team or those taking care of your accommodation. This could be anything from the request of a room with a shower ( little man prefers to shower and its less of a battle for me to get him to use it) it may be something as simple as avoiding a certain room number (little for us massive to the child with autism).

7) Make sure you have brought and packed everything you need and well within time.

8) Importantly don’t forget any medications. Little man’s melatonin was something we took up again just before going away last time then we forgot to take it. Not great as it can’t be brought over the counter.

9) Pack essentials for travel. We normally go by car and a good supply of snacks and drink is a must.

10) Don’t just leave everything to the last minute! The child on the spectrum can become very anxious when this happens. Believe me… I know.

Heres a few images from our last trip away.

Little man Butlins

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Alice and little man

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Alice and the toddler

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Holidays, festivals and Aspergers

14 Aug

As some may have noticed, this blogger has been a tad quiet these past few weeks. This I can only put down to the 6 week holidays.

The children have done well at keeping me on my toes since breaking up from school, there’s been all sorts of crazy family ups and downs (luckily nothing to explosive has happened)!

Little man struggles to get the most out of his holidays, what with the lack of a more structured routine, things can often get on top of him. However, this year his doing pretty well and I’m super impressed at how little man is adjusting himself and as a result his enjoying an easier, less stressful school break.

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Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if family life paints the picture that portrays that perfect family the “Walton’s” or even that of the “Little House on the Prairie”. There has been meltdowns, sibling rivalry, tears and of course a little cursing. But thankfully on the whole, it’s been OK and could have easily been worse!

I don’t think I ever imagined that I’d write something like that of the above, especially not during past school holidays which have seen me wondering around in a zombie induced state or that of a women sitting in a corner with her head in her hands, questioning out loud her ability to be a parent! I’ve now come to learn that its a combination of careful planning, self confidence & consistency that makes holidays relatively pleasurable for the whole family (especially for that of the parent and child on the spectrum)!

Little man may scream & curse when I’m requesting a new rule is followed but these rules actually make his holiday and every other day more predicable. He has a clear message surrounding my expectations towards him.

This is the same when applying new activities to a timetable/schedule, as by doing so he is aware of what we’re doing and where we’re doing it. The only problems with this are that of having to reschedule a planed activity or trip, cancellations are by far the worse! Little man like most children diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, doesn’t really grasp the whole unavoidable circumstances explanation and things can therefore become extremely heated and long winded.

This year we haven’t really been on any huge trips and certainly not holidays. Yes, we’ve done some days out to the zoo, park and that of the beach but not as many as I would have liked! Nonetheless, little man seems happy as he engages himself in his special interests or spreading time in the garden where he jumps on the trampoline for hours at a time.

Yet, like his siblings and any other child for that matter, Little man does get bored. Sadly his one true friend who happens to live next door, is off on his holidays where he’ll spend a long sunny 3 weeks in Florida. It’s apparent how much the Little man is missing the friendship and as a result I’m often finding myself having to contend with a snappy, moody 11year year old.

The above has left me needing to think outside the box. There’s been a need to create fun on a budget in-order to keep the little mans mind healthy and stimulated therefore reducing the chances of him getting over absorbed in his interest or annoyed, over stimulated or bored.

Garden sensory play, board games and back yard camping have all played a huge part of our life these last few weeks.

Other then being a parent to three children there has been other things keeping me busy (thankfully I wouldn’t call these chores)! Their are a few new projects I’ve embarked on and some awesome brands I’ve started working with. Actually if I’m honest, I’ve had some lovely surprises since the kids broke up! Discovering I had been chosen to become one of the new Butlins Ambassadors, was one of those surprises, one that caused big cheesy smiles from fellow members of the household.

Becoming a Butlins Ambassador means I can book a holiday with the children between now and next August, and then share my views on the resort by written review and video.

Most importantly, I can report on the little things that matter to those families who have children on the autism spectrum, those with SEN and other types of disability. A holiday camp such as Butlins, runs scheduled activities & events throughout the day which is most appealing to the child who needs structure and routine to feel safe and comfortable.

As well as the review, I’ll be able to share all the need to know Butlins news which includes anything from fantastic competitions to fabulous savings.

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If the above wasn’t enough for me to get all excited about, I’ve also met with Acer who invited me to check out their latest Tech releases while celebrating the Olympics 2012 games and its worldwide partnership, by sitting down for a spectacular 3 course lunch at the stunning Spencer House in London (blog post & images coming soon).

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Last week was the week I got myself a little ‘Me’ time. I’ve just returned from a the “Wilderness Festival” in Oxfordshire. I spent the entire weekend with a friend discovering what Wilderness had on offer for its second year… and it was bigger and better than its first year ( review coming soon).

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So now I’m home and enjoying being mum. Yes, it gets tough sometimes but there is no place I’d rather be.

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