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Over the years, we have welcomed many families in very different circumstances, those with one child and those with five children, single parents, three-generation families, and even adult twin brother and sister who celebrated their birthday with us. Some have been skiing already for some time, others are still wondering where to start…

You might wish to get to know the other “Skiing4all Families”; their circumstances might just sound familiar to you! On these pages you can read what they say. By the way, we do not like putting people in the labelled boxes but thought we might divide the emails into three categories so it’s easier for you to find the relevant information!

Please note that the names have been changed to protect privacy of our guests.

Autism / Asperger Syndrome

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Hi, we have an autistic son (Dominic) aged 7 together with a 13 year old son (Matthew) and your holidays sound absolutely perfect as I would love to take them on a snow sports holiday. I have taken Dominic skiing in Scotland about 4 or 5 times and he loves the idea but I find it very hard to teach him - he just wants to bomb down the hill as fast as possible (don't we all - but control always helps!). He usually only lasts about half an hour and then wants to play in the snow. Dominic is not profoundly autistic and he attends a mainstream school (with the help of a full time classroom assistant). It would be fantastic to take the boys on a holiday together as my elder son is a very keen snowboarder but I have only managed to go up the hill with him once as Dominic requires a lot of my attention. Your programs sound absolutely ideal for our situation just now.

Jake

I have a 6 (will be 7) year old, ASD at the mild end but limited language. He has never skied before. We have managed to get Danny on skates and he loves it so we want to get to the next level!

Rod

We have a 6 year daughter and an 'almost' 5 year old son. Our son is autistic and will have completed a number of ski lessons with disability snowsport UK at Manchester Chillfactore and our daughter will have completed her first course with the Chillfactore ski school. Our son attends mainstream primary school but needs a T.A. as his speech and language is limited. At this stage I think he would struggle with 'normal' ski lessons.

Moira

Kate is our 20 year old daughter, who has learning difficulties (autistic spectrum) and epilepsy. She skis in the UK with the Aldershot group of DSUK (formerly the BSCD) and has now been skiing in the Alps on family holidays and school trips for 8 years.

Helen

The most important thing is that we adopt the "slowly slowly catchy monkey" approach to Daniel’s skiing tuition. As I mentioned we also have a 12 year old who has never skied before. Daniel is mid functioning on the Autistic spectrum with a short attention span.

Vincent

I have been considering a skiing holiday for my family for some time now. I have been looking on the internet for a while but have not found any solutions that I thought would work for my children, until I came across your website. I have three boys, a 9 year old and 7 year old twins, two of which have special needs. My 9 year old has global development delay resulting in moderate learning difficulties and some behaviour issues. One of my twins has been diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Both boys attend a school for children with moderate learning difficulties. I am looking for ski lessons for my three boys and for obvious reasons I have never felt that a conventional ski school would be suitable for the boys.

Jayne

Kyle has been on ski holidays for 3 years and now skis once a week in classes with the Irish Special Olympics kids on an artificial slope in Dublin. Despite all this progress, Kyle responds best in situations where his teachers, tutors or sport coaches have the skill and experience to help him overcome his learning challenges. For this year’s ski holiday your unique approach seems to combine all these requirements better than any other I've researched. In addition swimming and pony riding are two of Kyle's favourite other activities so the whole Skiing4all package sounds irresistible.

Gareth

I would be looking for a place for my son, James, who will be 13 years old. James is autistic – mild on the behavioural side, more difficulties on the speech and language, but very sociable and amenable. I suspect he will just need quite a bit of patience in starting off! He has been on a dry ski slope and skied once before, but about 6 years ago.

Louise

My son has autism and has had skiing lessons from an instructor from disability snow sport. He absolutely loves it. I have never seen him so happy - wish I could bottle it! He skied for the first time on the Cairngormd in Scotland. He had an instructor with him. Holidays are difficult for him but I feel to include something that does so much for his whole being would be of great benefit to him.

Donna

Molly has Rett syndrome, a genetical disorder causing mental and physical retardation. Rett is officially labeled an Austitic Specrum Disorder. Molly can walk and enjoys running around and speed, and loves things such as sledging. Mentally she is on the level of a 2 year old, physically she is on the level of a 4 year old. We want to introduce her to skiing.

Mark

I know it's very early but I assume you book up early in this specialist area hence request. Being new to this targeted area of holiday booking we are still working our way through the complexities of getting the right facilities so the whole family enjoy the experience (1 child 2 adults). Our son by the time we arrive will be just turned 7 and has a diagnosis of high functioning autistic spectrum disorder, so I assume this will fit him into your L program. He has been skiing before but he struggled in a main stream ESF school, although he thoroughly enjoyed the nursery school and environment.

Carol

We have not skied with Sam in Europe but he has skied twice in North America on adaptive programs there. We also have a 16 year old daughter who wants to have lessons in a main group as well as my husband and myself who will ski.

Susannah

I want to take my two boys skiing. John (7) is a nuerotypical active boy. Matthew (9) has Aspergers and ADHD, we have just had to pull him out of mainstream school and he is starting a new school for children between mainstream and special needs schools next year. I know that if his first experience of skiing isn't good then he won't want to go again and as a life-long skier I really want to make sure that their first ski trip is the first of many.

Nick

We have an 11 year old son with Aspergers and are interested in your programs, having googled skiing and autism. Our son Daniel has skied before 4 times and is reasonably competent. We have done this with private lessons in Canada which were good but we don't want to go that far if we can help it.

Mark

We have been recommended you and your company from the Stuart family who came on holiday with you last year and I believe are returning this year. Our eldest son, Ben is 7 and a half and was diagnosed with high functioning autism a year ago after two very difficult years at school. He is in a mainstream school and is now statemented with help at school (albeit not enough!). Ben also has a sister called Maia who's 17 months younger than Ben. We are very interested in skiing holidays. Ben is a super whizz at the Wii and first got interested in winter sports whilst playing Mario and the Winter Olympics. His obsession at the moment is Mario and Sonic. Both us parents used to ski (just intermediate type stuff) a long time ago and it's something we'd love our children to enjoy at whatever level they felt comfortable confident at. However, we're well aware that a normal ski school would be hell for Ben and when we were told about your company thought that this might be perfect. We have a good dry ski centre near us and having been tobogganing there a few times have tried a couple of ski lessons - which have all gone fine and he's smiled all the way through but obviously this would all be so much easier on snow. We wanted to see how he would cope with the boots and skis. The school have intimated that they would allow Ben to go on holidays out of school term time as it would be easier for him.

Aileen

Down’s Syndrome

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I have a 10 year old DS son. He’s fit & healthy but I couldn’t send him to a regular ski school as he could decide to up & leave it in me. He doesn’t like big groups either & would shiver & sit down, but he’s good on a one to one. Myself & my husband only learnt to ski over the last 2 years so it would be great to go off on our own for a few hours & know he’s in safe hands.

Maire

We are twins, Henry with DS, both of us have wanted to go skiing for a while now!

Lorraine

We are fortunate enough to have parents who would like to take the whole family skiing. We have three children; the oldest (who will be 9 next year), James has Down Syndrome, and we are therefore searching for some kind of provision that caters for those with additional needs. It looks like your ski school does offer this.

Caroline

We are considering our first family skiing trip and have been looking at your website. Our 9 year old son, Sam, has Down's syndrome and we have two younger boys who are 8 (Daniel) and 5 (Henry). None of the boys have skied before but we have been to a dry ski slope and had a go. Sam struggled to get control of his feet to begin with but got there in the end and went down a short and very gentle slope quite happily. He can be sensitive to failure but is generally pretty flexible and willing to have a go at most things - particularly if Daniel and Henry are there too.

Jackie

We have been looking at your website and would be very interested in booking for skiing with you. Our daughter (Chloe) will be 13 years old by then - she has Down syndrome. She is quite an active girl and enjoys things like dancing, gymnastics and swimming. She has not as yet tried skiing. Her brother (John - does not have a disability) will be 11 years old by then and he has done some basic skiing at a UK indoor ski centre. My wife and I have been skiing before but not for a long time.

Tony

I have twin daughters who have Downs syndrome, who are now 31 years of age (only look 14). They are very active and love skiing.

Victoria

I came across your website whilst thinking about skiing for my daughter who has downs syndrome - your program looks like the perfect way to introduce her to skiing.

Tom

I was speaking to Emma’s parents recently about your skiing holidays and she was telling me what a wonderful time they’d all had. My middle daughter, Kate, is 10 and also has Down’s syndrome and we are keen to come on one of your holidays. Our daughter has never skied before but loves speed, swims and does gym. I have 2 other children, Anna (6) and Oliver (12) who have also not skied before. My husband and I have skied once before and are keen to improve.

Ruth

This would be Sophie's first time skiing. She is 16, with Down’s Syndrome, small and trim, quite active (swims well, cycles OK, walks quite briskly). So we're not sure how much time she'd spend skiing. She had a chance to ice-skate during our Xmas holiday and tried it every day (for an hour or so). She is quite determined, but may get tired after several hours of effort.

Tim

Alex has Down’s Syndrome and no health issues other than flat feet and reduced hearing levels in one ear. He has basic signing skills, and uses this to express himself. His favourite word is NO! No often means 'yes but I want to do what you are asking myself'. He is extremely independent and loves the responsibility of helping in any activity. I notice you mentioned PECS in your brochure, he also uses PECS at school. Alex is quite sporty he will copy what his brothers do outside, that is use the trampoline, scooter, bike etc. His passion is music he will bop around when a tune is played! I take him to DSUK at Aldershot which operates once a month, with an instructor. He is familiar with walking in boots, and putting on skis, maintaining his balance and shuffling in skis, if only for a short time. He does not feel comfortable sliding on a slight incline at this point. The length of these sessions are dictated by Alex so when he has had enough we terminate the lesson this is typically 15 or 20 mins. That's why I though the S program was best to introduce Alex to the snow, equipment etc.

Jacke

Other special needs

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We discovered your website with much excitement as we have a nine year old daughter with learning and some physical disability. My wife and I have enjoyed skiing holidays pre children and had never anticipated we might be able to do this as a family. My wife is a paediatric physio and I am a doctor with an interest in learning disability.

Ron

We have heard wonderful things about your ski school from Jenny and her son Alex. Our son, James, is 24 and suffers from Fragile X, which has resulted in poor literacy and numeracy. He is easy-going, fit and healthy and understands the basics of skiing, having been with the family a couple of times. He is certainly very keen! We are trying to encourage him to become more independent.

Dominic

Molly has Rett syndrome, a genetical disorder causing mental and physical retardation. Rett is officially labeled an Austitic Specrum Disorder. Molly can walk and enjoys running around and speed, and loves things such as sledging. Mentally she is on the level of a 2 year old, physically she is on the level of a 4 year old. We want to introduce her to skiing.

Mark

My son is very high functioning and very fit. Just needs bit of extra help. He acquired a brain injury at 13 months, which left him with cerebral palsy hemiplegia (right sided), but goes to a gym class every week, and rides a bike without stabilisers etc. He has a right sided vision impairment. He more needs help with introducing new concepts and time to process them. I would bring a visual timetable with me. He is a bright little button when given help in the right way!

Jennie

Our daughter has speech and language disorder, mild learning difficulties, sensory disorder and some features of ASD. She has been attending dry slope classes with Disability Snowsports, can snow plough in a straight line and use a drag lift.

Ian

Our son James (7 years) has a unique chromosome condition (15q overgrowth syndrome) resulting in overgrowth and severe learning difficulties (with no speech, but good understanding). He has just started to ski with DSUK and is enjoying it immensely. I was thinking about a Christmas break. I am not sure if James could cope with more than an hour's skiing at a time.

Liz

We are a family of 5, with 3 children aged between (will be) 5 and 12. Our daughter of 12 and our son, who will be 10 are both able to ski to an intermediate level and are able bodied. Our youngest daughter, who will be 5 in January, has "complex" special needs. She had severe epilepsy from the age of 2, with uncontrolled multiple daily seizures for a year, during which time she suffered significant regression in all of her skills. Her seizures were brought under control Easter 2010 when she was 3.3 years, but by then she had a developmental age of 10 months and was diagnosed autistic. Since she has been seizure free, she has made tremendous progress, is now speaking again (although not age appropriately), has good understanding of language (again probably not age appropriate) and has a developmental age of approx. 3 years. She has now been diagnosed as not autistic, so her main issue is being developmentally behind, low concentration levels and lacking in any sense of danger. From a physical perspective she is very able and we believe she will enjoy skiing as she is a fun loving speed junkie, but we are worried about the safety angle! We also know that she couldn’t cope in a ski school situation as she would be off on her own agenda. She is at a very small mainstream school, but she has full time one-to-one support.

Sarah
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