Jo Worgan column: Summer holidays are trundling along nicely

Guardian columnist Jo Worgan
Guardian columnist Jo Worgan

Well this week heralds the third week of the school summer holidays so we are halfway through. Where have the weeks gone?

We have had a somewhat unsettled past few weeks but hand on heart we have also had fun.

The holidays though can be a particularly stressful time for both the child and parents I feel. You have to keep the children entertained, on a budget, while trying to stick to a routine and dealing with your child’s specific needs. This is not always an easy task.

Tom has struggled due to changes of routine and has exhibited lots of challenging behaviour but thankfully having a supportive family and a respite service for disabled children, we have survived so far.

Having support is what is most important, I feel.

Stephen had a week away with his grandparents at the beginning of the holidays and he will be having another week away next week.

As well as this Tom has accessed Unique Kidz and Co holiday club so that we receive some respite. We are very lucky I feel.

Others though are not so fortunate. Maybe they have no family who can help. Parents may also not be able to access respite services due to financial issues or the services provided may not meet the child’s specific needs. How do these parents cope? Who supports them? That is the real concern.

This is why I feel so passionately about online support and support groups. Chatting to other parents who just ‘get it’ is very therapeutic as well as knowing that someone out there understands.

I am luckily well supported and able to talk about Tom and how at times he can be challenging and disruptive to family life.

However with support and being able to voice these feelings we are able to carry on. Therefore I am looking forward to the rest of the holidays.

I will just end though by saying that if you are out and about and see a child ‘being naughty’ or ‘throwing a tantrum’ just think for a moment. Maybe that child has additional needs, maybe they are on the autistic spectrum. That child might be my Tom.