John Williams is a single father and full-time carer for his 10-year-old son, who has autism and cerebral palsy. Both of them dread school holidays but have learned how to manage them, he says, through a process of trial and error.
School. Holidays. Two words that on their own are fine, but together strike fear and horror in to parents throughout the land. For my 10-year-old autistic son, who craves the familiarity and consistency of routine, the lack of sameness, and change of pace that holidays inevitably bring, can make them an even more testing time.
“Please complete the holiday diary to tell us what you did over the Easter period,” said a letter he arrived home with on Friday. It turned out to be an exercise book. An exercise book! Forty-two pages.
He’s only off for two weeks. What do you want us to have done?