We should be so lucky

Joshua came back home from his residential last night and he gave me a gigantic hug and big grin, then settled down on his settee to sleep, he was exhausted, even though he mostly seems to have slept and eaten, from his teacher’s feedback. what a rich experience to have had. Organising and staffing a residential trip for 8 challenging youngsters must be a logistical nightmare: I know how hard it is to just get Joshua out of the door some days, so can you imagine multiplying that by 8 and the throwing in some complex behavioural issues that Joshua fortunately does not suffer from.

We are incredibly lucky that Joshua does not get freaked out by change as some autistic children do, so he does not need, as far as I can tell, the preparation that they do in order for him to tolerate an unusual event.One boy who went on the residential, cannot tolerate his mother being in school ,as it is not the right setting for her, and so she could not attend the briefing meeting as it distressed her son too much. Joshua has always been able to accept change well and simply smiles and carries on in the main.I imagine that this placid acceptance makes him a popular child to work with as he will not require the reassurances that some of the others need.

We are also lucky that he does not fret, as far as I can tell. Joshua calmly accepts that he is away from home and I believe that, although I know with certainty that he loves me, that it is, with him, out of sight and out of mind. I know that he will not be pining for my company, but he will be enjoying the company of others. He has never spoken to me on the telephone, although he spends hours holding the remote controls to his ears, as though they are telephones. I think he has heard my voice and been happy to hear it, but has never even said ‘mommy’ down the phone to me.

I am very fortunate also that Joshua greets me with a big bear hug, holding me tight, when we have been separated for some time, that tells me that he is pleased to be re-united and to be back home. He usually wanders around the house to check out all of his favourite things are still there, but last night he was too shattered, and he simply lay on the settee with a smile on his face, contented.

The staff will be exhausted this weekend after a 36 hour marathon and all the preparation that went into it beforehand to make it run so smoothly, but hopefully they realise how much the children enjoyed it and the parents appreciated it, so that will have made it all worthwhile. bring on the next one I say but they may need a bit longer to recover.

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