Six year old Nadia loves running, being outside and anything to do with My Little Pony. Her mum, Magda, said “Nadia was diagnosed with autism when she was three, of course it affects each person individually but in Nadia’s case it affects her communication, she relies heavily on routine, and can become very anxious. When she likes something, she really, really gets into it, and it’s a joy to observe. Her favourite thing is My Little Pony, so we do lots of activities relating to that such as drawing and colouring in the characters.”

“Nadia loves to be outside and I decided I’d love to take her on holiday in half term, so that we could enjoy being outside somewhere nice and warm. We chose a trip to Gran Canaria, and had a wonderful time. Before we went, I told Nadia’s school that we were going on holiday so that they could also help with preparing her – we did a countdown and explained exactly what we would be doing each day using her PECS symbols, so that she’d know what to expect which helped to reduce her anxiety.”

“Nadia absolutely adored going to the seaside, she had never been to the beach before but we spent two or three hours each day splashing in the waves, walking on the beach and enjoying the sunshine. Nadia found it really calming by the sea, and because it was February it was quite quiet so it wasn’t overwhelming for her. I’m so glad we went away, it was so lovely for us to both be able to relax. I think as parents of autistic children we often don’t get to take a break and look after ourselves, and the holiday was really beneficial to me as a carer too. Making time for fun isn’t always at the top of the priority list for parents like me, with appointments and everything else going on, so it’s great that Family Fund gives us the opportunity to go and have some fun and enjoy spending time with our children.”