Holiday activities for older teenagers?

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
Charles, I agree 100%. Unfortunately, at the time I was writing about, there was absolutely nothing available in our rural area. I would always encourage everyone to press for additional support (as my group did constantly) but a parent run scheme is better than nothing.
I think the teenage years were my son's worst. Whilst as a youngster he was very sociable, the gap between his abilities and that of his elder brother became more and more noticeable, and he became more aware of it too, unfortunately in some ways. He is something of a Jekyll and Hyde, some things he's useless at, others as good as anyone else. For example, when he went to a farm college he gave tractor driving demonstration, but can't drive a car on the road, for various reasons. He became increasingly isolated from those in his own age group, depressed, and needed something to fill his time. So did I. I gave an example of how parents in my rural area successfully met the challenges we faced ourselves during the holidays. I wasn't saying that the solution to Scally's problem lay in doing exactly the same as we did. What I wanted to highlight was that sometimes, if a group of parents/friends/carers with similar problems join together, they might be able to arrange a joint activity which all would enjoy and benefit from. Exactly what would be most appropriate would be up to them to decide. Gaining confidence and socialising is really important in the road to independence. I believe that the social confidence he gained from our "playscheme" (probably not the most appropriate word, but can't think of a better one just now) was an important step in his independence. It provided a safe environment with other understanding families, without being tied to me. 15 years later, my son now lives in his own, privately rented flat, where he lives alone. It's a beautiful place, spotlessly clean, with staff support to go shopping and cooking.
When he was growing up, I followed advice from others with children slightly older than mine, from whom I learned a lot, and in response to this post I've said how we managed in the hope that it might help.
Have to be honest, when my children were growing up and we went down to the beach,out in the country, exploring,picnics, etc,it was not done with ANY expectations for the future except laying down memories for my children.(I love Scally's plans for himself and his son).
Hi Audrey,
No offence taken. Unfortunately, all my son wanted to do was "Men's stuff". It was my inability to entertain him with anything mechanical which was the problem, when my husband was at work. He always planned holidays in August but if an emergency cropped up, leave had to be cancelled. It's far worse now that my husband has died, especially if eldest son (also an engineer) is not around. A large steam rally can be really educational in many ways, even if you don't like engines, with loads to see and do. The same can be said for the large agricultural shows - animals at close quarters, wood chopping competitions, blacksmiths, terrier racing etc. Then there's the food tent, usually with free samples! I always encourage my son's carers to bring his friends along to the shows we go to, they always enjoy it, and can't believe just how dirty my son can get!!! Shows can be expensive but usually there are some concessions. For those with mobility problems, check the ground conditions first. Some of my friends have taken their children with learning difficulties abroad, on coach trips, which have worked well for them; but a lot depends very much on the person concerned.
don't come to Pembrokeshire looking for concessions to shows. There are none!We used to love going to the Agricultural shows,but can't afford it now. A couple of years ago, our son's care agency contacted the organisers to see if they could get a discount if they went as a group, but no luck.I think it was £18 a person last year.That is a lot of money just to get through the gate.
By the way,I agree Bowlingbun, I think they are a really good day out.
Lazydaisy,
Obviously we don't pay to go in, as exhibitors, so I've just checked the three main shows which we go to, for up to date information. You are absolutely right I'm afraid. No disabled concessions at all now, and pensioners are very nearly the same price as adults. That's awful, undoubtedly a sign of the recession. One of them used to do free entry for the disabled on Fridays, with parking right by the arena, but one year it was so badly abused that it was scrapped. I well remember helping one old lady to park her car (my husband was a marshal at the time, me in high visibility vest). This involved asking some people having a picnic to move. After the show was finished, I saw the same "disabled" lady returning to her car without any mobility problems whatsoever!! Such a shame that behaviour like this spoiled a generous gesture by the organisers.
Bowlingbun I think your holiday scheme sounds great, there is next to nothing here where I am for my 15yr old with profound autism and SLD, it's so sad really because he loves to get out and about but finding anything suitable is a major job, he needs full on care minimum 2-1, not remotely like the regular bored teenager, if only.
Vicky
I cant quite believe my son J's good fortune: the film tutor who was leading the course he attended last week at the Edinburgh International Film Festival has sent him a couple of tickets for the black-tie closing night Gala Premiere of the festival at the festival theatre in Edinburgh, which will be the new Scottish animated film by Pixar, "Brave" - already a blockbuster hit in the USA. This is a huge event in Scotland, and there will a long list of A and B list celebrities from the worlds of film, politics, the media, business and the arts attending. (almost certainly including Billy Connolly etc...) Tickets are selling for a small fortune on Ebay, costing more than the whole five day course he attended.

That is an incredibly nice gesture, and he adores film, especially animations: he will have a marvellous time.

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The boy has become a man Rob. He looks so handsome, so grown up. When you compare for some of the pics you used to put on here a few yrs ago.
You and L must be so proud of him and how far he has pushed himself. ( with the occassional prod from you of course )
That's absolutely wonderful. What a fantastic experience, and great for creating excitement and anticipation. No one will be able to top that this holiday will they?! Do let us know how he gets on.