So today is the day when we vote about our future in Europe and it is time for us to have some democratic say in where our direction might come from. The MPs and campaigners have been very passionate on the debates that I have heard, passionate that cliams have exaggerated and so it as been difficult to extract the truth of both sides. But I have reached my decision and I will be casting my vote.
Of course, inevitably, I turn my mind to Joshua and I have not seen a disability argument for either ‘in’ or ‘out’. When Joshua is 18, he will still not have the capacity to vote but that is the least of my worries for his adult life to be fair. I try not to think about adult-Joshua to be perfectly honest as it is a frightening prospect. I do not like to think much about the days when he is a fully grown adult – can he get much taller?? – and as we are getting older and weaker. I no longer lift him much at his 9 stone weight, but I regularly take his full weight after seizures as I lower him to the ground or help him negotiate accessing vehicles-Joshua in you go. Fortunately, he has gained weight gradually and so I have been able to build up my strength in proportion to his size. But the days when even my husband could scoop him up and give him a fireman’s lift on his shoulder, are gone now.
We are being encouraged to consider Joshua’s ‘transition’ into his adult life at school already, even though he is 15 and he can go to their 6th form until he is 19. I know already that budgets for Adult Services have been drastically cut but I am still hoping that by the time he has reached that age, that he will be able to access some daily daycare that gives him the same routine as school, where he can get involved in fun activities with his peers but return home to us. Joshua will never drive or live independently, so he is going to have a life of being dependent and of being taken care of. I am more than happy to take care of him for as long as I am able but that will take its toll and we will have to be mindful, when the time comes, that his parents might not always represent the best option for him…
So perhaps you can see why I am voting for Joshua’s future, but that his inability to vote in his own right, is not the biggest concern that I have.