Joshua went out with a new Direct Payments key worker yesterday, for the first time and it was fascinating to see how he behaved. I have known her for a long time but Joshua was only young when we used to socialise in the same circles, when her now 16 year old daughter was pre-school and of course, her six year old did not exist.
He came to the front door when they knocked to see who had come to visit, she had brought her mother and son along and the plan was to walk up to our local open farm together. Joshua smiled at them then regarded them all with caution, trying to work out what was going on as Mum seemed to be telling all his secrets to this lady! Rather than willingly jumping into his wheelchair, as he does when Yorkshire Grandma takes him out, he was cautious and began sweeping up outside and had to be coaxed into the wheelchair. We kissed him goodbye and away he went, while I worked from home. We agreed to 5 hours together as their first outing.
Joshua arrived back at 3pm, as arranged, and as we talked outside, he took up sweeping the yard again, smiling shyly at the 16 year old daughter who had joined them. I heard how he had been and round their house, he had made himself very much at home – laid down on the settee and pulled a throw over himself and I have seen photographs, of him stroking the young girl’s long blonde hair!
I very much hope that they will want to have Joshua again, so that we have a back up plan for Yorkshire Grandma. But I realised how much knowledge she has of Joshua, knowing him all of his life. I forgot to warn them how much he likes mobile phones – apparently he ‘licked’ theirs and that he steals food from others’ plates – he ate Grandma’s scone with cream, amongst other snippets of knowledge.
As well as being pleased that we may be forming a new relationship with a whole family, not just Mum, I was pleased to see that Joshua was more wary of strangers than I had expected. I always thought that being so sociable, that he would go off with anybody. But his clear shyness – they even commented at the Farm how quiet he was yesterday as they see him a lot – was a relief to me really. He showed more social awareness than I expected. He was flashing his tummy at them when they brought him home, so he had gained more confidence, but he had then had 5 hours in their company and so, he could consider them friends at that point.
I hope that this relationship will go from strength to strength so that they can all get to know each other and spend more time together. Their first meeting was a success so, onward and upwards.