Nicole's Story

This is Matthew, my son with autism, this photo was taken when he was about 4 years old, on a holiday to Burleigh Heads. Finding it reminded me of how wonderful it will be when our holiday house is ready for families to use. We stayed in apartments on the main strip at Burleigh, Matthew was quite the absconder at this point in time, I never slept well on holidays because I knew if he woke he would try and leave the unit, which of course he did. One afternoon I turned around to realise he had left the room! To do this he had gone through the child safe locks we had purchased and stuck onto the hotel doors, he had pressed the correct buttons in the lift and used a button in the lobby to leave the building. We had friends with us and we ran everywhere, the receptionist even pulled up the security videos for us which showed matthew leaving the lobby through the locked entrance. Luckily a man who was fixing the internet in the lobby, saw the security tape and had seen Matthew over a kilometre away at the Surf Club as he was fixing the internet there. The police who had arrived took us there where we found him, it was such a relief. We got a jeweller to make matthew an I.D. bracelet with his name-autism and my mobile number (he has it on in this picture). The bracelet was to be useful the next day as Matt left again, despite 4 adults being hyper-aware of him. Of course we enjoyed being away from home and near the beach etc., but we couldn’t ever fully relax as the place was not lockable and safe for children with autism. This is one of many holiday stories I have about Matthew, as he is a very clever little boy with amazing problem solving skills. This is one of the many stories that made my good friend Julie want to make the dream of a perfect holiday for families living with autism come true. 

P.S. I’d love to see your holiday snaps of your child and hear of their holiday antics as well.