Joshua’s first night at his new respite provision seems to have gone very well : we collected him at 6 pm as requested. When we arrived, he was fast asleep on the settee but I was able to wake him nicely. He jumped up to hive his dad a big bear- hug and then I got a hi-5 followed by a hug. He beamed with delight and then he started waving at the staff, knowing that we had come to take him away. He went round each of the staff individually and they either got a wave, high 5, hug or a point! He even patted a girl ,who was also on her residential weekend and was crouching on the floor watching him, on the head!
He strode out with us and climbed into the front seat of our truck, still smiling, and he giggled to be reunited with Ruby, the cocker spaniel in our family. Within minutes of leaving, he was asleep and snoring. When we got home, I was able to pour over his diary. It contained lots of anecdotes and detail, just like I enjoy.It reassured me about some key concerns :
– that he did not sleep all weekend, but they woke him at 9.30 so he was eating breakfast at 10
– that he ate pretty well , as sometimes he would refuse at his previous provision
– that he did not just stay indoors all day due to the wintry weather ; they went to the Railway museum.
– that they saw his cheeky personality shine out and he was not solitary, that he had enjoyed watching and interacting with the other children.
The only issue was that he refused to drink, but that is not uncommon, and I worry about that less in the winter than during a bout of hot summer days. So he did not sprout horns and turn into a little devil for them, much to my relief but they seem to have seen the real Joshua, not just a shadow of himself.
He returns in four weeks, at the end of term, for a three- night sleepover then, which is great timing as he hates shopping at the best of times, but the weekend before Christmas would not be his idea of fun and the Residence I am sure will be feeling super- festive by then. All in all, I would consider this to be a highly successful first stay.