My son was diagnosed with severe autism and additional learning and behavioural difficulties at 18 months and has attended an outstanding SLD school for the last 16 years. He leaves the school in a few weeks time. Although the education provided could not have been better, looking back on the 16 years, the question which keeps nagging me is Why are children like my son, who rely on the stimulation and fixed routine of the daily school regime, abandoned in the long summer holiday and basically left to rot? Why does special education have to follow the same pattern as the mainstream school year when a significant %age of children at special schools are crying out for full time provision and the needs of the children are so different? Why is this full time provision only available for these children at residential schools? Why can't parents who choose to 'tough it out' and keep their child at home get the support they need to fill the black hole of the 6 week summer hols? Now that we have combined childrens services at local authorities rather than the old battle between education and social services you would think this problem would have been picked up. Instead its getting worse as holiday playschemes are being drastically cut. Any comments?