No more lunches to prepare and pack, no more rush to get to the school gate on time (ie. 8:58am...ahem...yeah...*embarrassed grin*); and no more apprehensive waits AT the school gate later on in the day, hoping against all hope that Sam might come out telling me he had a 'brilliant' time - yet knowing that, mostly, he will be grumpy, sullen, unpredictable, irritable and incapable (or unwilling?) to give me even the briefest account of what he did that day.
No more spoonfed Weetabix in front on Cbeebies. Tom can eat his breakfast on his own, AND TAKE HIS TIME...!! He can also stay in his jammies all day - as can we all (oh the bliss), instead of being manhandled into some clothes that are not of his choosing, and that he never had any intention of wearing in the first place. Oh and while we're at it he can stay in nappies for all I care! I am no professional when it comes to toilet-training a child who has NO desire to do so...and who soils himself every 5 minutes and has no real awareness of doing so. (...that's a mental not a physical thing by the way. He definitely feels it when it comes... Erm. I know. Sorry - that can wait another time...!)
This is not to say there is absolutely no routine or structure to our days during holidays. That would be hell on earth in a household where ASD and other 'challenges' are present. But instead of the rigidity of a school timetable there is flexibility . And flexibility is, believe it or not, an important skill to learn for a person with Aspergers like Sam, or even mild ASD like Ben. They have to learn to function in an environment where they have to bring in a bit of their own structure. I do not spoonfeed them ideas of activities to do, games to play, etc... I largely tend to encourage them to just 'play' and watch nervously! Most of the time, there are usually fights, tears and angry words in the end. But it's all part of life and so I believe valuable lessons are learnt here too.