I’ll be honest I’ve really noticed the impact of having two ND kids this school holiday period. It has shown me that one of them really thrives with the structure of school, and the other is struggling being around family 24/7. Throw in a constant stream of sickness since Christmas week, and I am one tired mama. It has me reflecting on what school holidays are like for other parents like me. 

Firstly, just the simple change of the day to day structure and routine can really throw these kids off whack. They are often (like all kids) totally exhausted come holidays time. This means our kids are displaying a lot more emotional dysregulation, sleep difficulty, and challenging behaviours. No need to mask when in the comfort of home! 

During school holidays, especially over the summer ones, many therapists and supports take a break (as they deserve too). So not only are parents dealing with the above, there is also reduced support and respite to do it. 

Heading out and about with these kids can be extra stressful and challenging. As a parent there is a wish to experience and see special things and activities, but navigating children out in public who have impulse control issues, easily emotionally dysregulated and are sensory sensitive, adds another layer to the complexity. There is a fine juggle between doing fun activities away and having home days to recalibrate.

Having my ND kids at home, full time over holidays means, lots of mess, lots of food consumption, sibling arguments, accidents and breakages and far less time for work, rest and me time. 

If you know a ND or special needs mama here is a few things you can do to help them over the school holidays:

❤️Come to them for a play date, and help clean up afterwards.

❤️Offer an extra set of hands to help take the kids on a fun outing.

❤️As always snacks and meals are helpful. As is offering to watch the kids while she does a grocery shop, or do the shop for her. 

❤️Watch the kids while she goes and does something for herself to fill her cup.

❤️Be a non-judgemental supportive listening ear when she is voicing her exhaustion and frustration.

❤️Love and accept her kids just as they are!

That is just a quick reflection from my current experience this past 5 weeks. What I haven’t covered is the positives like all the craft, beach plays and family time. 

I would be so interested to hear from other ND/special needs parents how you find the school holidays (challenges and positives) and what you find helpful! 

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