Peter, a KIDS short breaks sessional worker, talks about what him and Michael get up to during their days out.

Michael is an extremely active 16-year-old who enjoys running, jumping and climbing. He is also very talkative and is greatly interested in learning. Michael has autism, and can sometimes find social situations difficult. He does not like busy, crowded areas, but prefers places like parks with open space. He is a keen gardener, always buying items for his garden and talking about nature.

On my breaks with Michael, I always try to incorporate a learning element. When we go shopping, I let him find the items he wants, and then I help him count his money and pay. He enjoys developing this skill and often asks me to give him maths questions.

Our breaks are always varied and based around Michael’s interests. He enjoys parks with climbing frames, interesting plants and ponds with ducks to feed. He also enjoys shopping for gardening tools, pots and plants and showing me where he plans to place everything in his garden.

Recently, Michael and I took a trip to Hampton Court to look around the gardens and palace. We walked through the kitchens, courtyards and hallways, and Michael was very interested in the history of the building. He took lots of picture in the gardens to show his Mum. We saw the world’s largest vine in the gardens, and Michael was amazed at its longevity. Michael had a great day, and it is sure to be one that he will remember forever!