The Harle family: Chris, Helen (blind skier), David and Kathyrn (autism and learning difficulties) enjoy the February 2008 half term in La Plagne. They stayed in Plagne 1800 and had ski lessons from both Antenne (Aime 2000) and Oxygene Ski School (Plagne Centre)
"As a mother it was very thought provoking with the mixed emotions seeing Kathryn in particular being taught so specifically that she was able to achieve such a high standard, being reminded of how able she is and that this is possible. If only she could have this enjoyment with school work and other activities that I know she could do well in and enjoy without it being such hard work and a negative experience. I know that it is with her special needs that the teaching needs to be so specific."
Helen Harle Feb 2008
"Just a quick note to let you know that we have just returned from a very successful ski holiday in Val Thorens. William (autistic, 5 yrs) enjoyed a private 2hr lesson each day with Lara, an instuctor with Prosneige. I would thouroughly recommend her. She was sensitive to Williams needs, and flexible in her approach. On days when his concentration was poor she would split the skiing with time indoors. By the end of the week he was coming down greens on his own! Rarely looking ahead!"
Our daughter was with the same ski school and also thoroughly enjoyed it. The week did make us realise, however, that william will need handiski for the next few years. He certainly wouldn't cope with 'normal' ski school.
So, we are now thinking of the next holiday. We are keen to keep the momentum going and get William skiing as frequently as we can. Any reccommendations for a Christmas ski holiday. We would prefer a high resort to minimise the risk of poor snow, but apart from that, would want to go where the skiing would be best for William."
A family, whose son has Autism, have discovered the joys and fun of being able to have a ski holiday, which benefits both Matthew in terms of creating both self-confidence and skills in Canada thanks to Rocky Mountain Adaptive Sports Centre.
"We are an English family that lived in Canmore, Alberta for 10 years, having returned to England in 2012.
We have son, Matthew, who was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 5. He was very reluctant to try anything new and it was a lot of work for me as his mum to get him to do so.
We met Jamie McCulloch when he first started a program at Sunshine village ski resort, in about 2004, teaching children with special needs, who would otherwise have not been able to ski independently.
Both my husband and I cannot sing his praises enough, he is a highly driven and motivated individual and went many years without earning any financial rewards for his time, services and incredible patience.
He has since gone on to build RMASC, which has taken off amazingly, where the kids and also adults now are able to experience all the incredible activities and wonders that the mountains have to offer, where they no longer have to feel like they cannot achieve their dreams, due to their differences from the rest of society.
Jamie and his team of volunteers have given so much of themselves over the years and we feel strongly that this is such a worthy cause that should definitely be given the chance to spread further afield.
Our children and we as parents cannot thank Jamie and RMASC enough for the encouragement, support, selflessness, friendship and mentorship that have been shown over the many years that both our sons have participated.
Its' been a privilege to get to know Jamie, he's a true inspiration to all that know him and a true friend. We miss him and his fiancé Vick, who's also played a huge part in the program and behind the scenes in building RMASC to what it is today and we love the idea that they are looking to spread the joy across the pond.
We will be taking trips back to Canmore to have our son Matthew take part in the RMASC programs as this is one major loss we have felt by leaving the town."
Jane Matthews Read (mother of Matthew)
James has been skiing with Richard Fetherston, Ski Development Coach, Snowbility, for 3 years. In this time, James has significantly improved his skiing which, in itself, is a very satisfactory outcome. However, beyond the obvious benefits of improved fitness and hopefully a sense of achievement this has instilled in James, there have been other benefits too. These revolve around an improvement in James' social and communication skills that are probably even more valuable to his long-term development. Click here to read the full story
The Snow Centre at Hemel Hempstead is helping people with the condition enjoy time on the snow. Tuesday was World Autism Awareness Day and PlanetSKI reports on this inspiring programme.
Adam is like any other 11- year old boy - except he has autism.
He attends The Tree House school in Muswell Hill in North London where all of the pupils have a diagnosis of autism. He is also now a skier. He has now had six ski lessons with Snowbility.
"Adam has always loved snow and it's clear that he loves the feeling of freedom he gets when he is skiing. He is an adventurous child and it is great for him to enjoy new experiences," said his mother, Emma.
**"Learning to ski has been good for his self-esteem and confidence. It has really showed us what he is capable of. Skiing has opened up a possibility that wasn't there before."
She said that they may now even consider taking a family skiing holiday in the future.
Something that they could never have contemplated before Adam started having his sessions with Snowbility.
For the whole story click here http://www.planetski.eu/news/4789
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