On behalf of my family I would like to say such a massive thank you to all at Dream-A-Way for the financial support they provided towards our dream holiday.
We all had a truly wonderful time away in Egypt and to see our middle son so happy was such a blessing.
We have never had any help from family or any sort of respite. At times life has been very challenging and hard for the whole family as our middle son has behaviour issues due to his Autism and is often very angry and at times has violent outburst.
It can be so hard seeing him suffer daily with having to go to school and being so negative about himself as he is very aware of how far behind he is to his peers. He has no friends at school and as a parent it is heart-breaking to see your child suffer this way because of his communication barriers.
Our middle son has long been fixated on the book Tiddler, reading it every night for many years to him. He has wanted to swim with the fish for a long time. Anytime he is asked what he would like to do he always says go snorkelling. Well thanks to the part funding from Dream-A-Way we were able to do this on January 1st 2015 with a family holiday to Egypt.
Nothing can describe how wonderful it was to see our son running down to the jetty at the hotel and launching himself off into the sea to snorkel.
The amazing sight that greeted you underwater was a visual stunning display of thousands of colourful fish and coral. With the warm water temperature we could all happily spend an hour at a time floating about just delighting in the watery wonders.
To add to the magical time we had we were so lucky, on our last snorkel before leaving the hotel for the airport, just as we were about to leave the sea for the last time my husband shouted ‘Turtle’! We swam over to where he was and spent some time swimming along watching this beautiful turtle until he disappeared down into the depths of the sea.
I must confess to having a little tear in my eyes as it was such a treat to see Hey Dude swim past Nemo and his dad – I almost felt like I could hear him giving them a ‘Totally’ as he went on his way.
Our son was jumping up and down with excitement when we got out of the water. The lifeguard who has worked there for some time said how lucky we were as he has never seen a turtle there or known any other hotel guest to. It was almost a special moment just for us to end our holiday in such a special way.
It is a holiday we will never forget, it is also the first time we have ever all been on a plane together. Everything was just so fantastic.
Our son eats very little and things have to be a certain way on his plate and things – so we were worried about what he would eat, but thankfully he managed to find many desserts that he loved! His favourite food was when we took a trip into the Sinai Desert and made bread with the Bedouin people and helped cook it on a fire in the traditional way. Our son loved this and especially liked the two camel rides we did in the desert and a 2 hour quad biking ride through the mountains and desert.
But best of all for the whole family was a boat trip and two dives we did. When you are diving you are not meant to smile as water goes in your mouth – but it was so hard not to smile when looking at my son diving 6 metres down and his eyes alive with wonder and joy at all the fishes around him. When he was snorkelling you could hear him through the water singing to himself and making chatting sounds to the fish.
It is the happiest we have ever seen him. I think maybe by not needing to communicate and feel judged and inadequate when people cannot understand you, was so freeing for him whilst snorkelling. Before he would just float on the surface with his snorkel but by the end of the holiday he was diving several feet down and almost dancing under the water with a sense of freedom and joy that we have not seen in him before.
Thank you again to everyone involved with fund raising and organisation of Dream-A-Way, you have definitely made one little boy’s dream come true and last night when he wanted us to read Tiddler again, well this time he was pointing to all the fish he has seen.