As we are starting to use a new Direct Payments worker with Joshua, she took Joshua out for another three hours yesterday. You may recall that I was surprised the first time that she took him out in the summer holidays, that he was rather shy and anxious about the experience? Well there was none of that this time, he beamed when he saw her and practically ran to get into her car, while we loaded the wheelchair. He kept shouting ” I like you!” and then she said the magic word relating to her plan for the outing, that they might go to McDonalds!! He heard that and began to jump up and down in his seat shouting “Donalds!” so she was committed to that plan, there would be no talking him out of it.
So how did I use my three hours of ‘respite’ on a saturday morning ? well I went wild… I had a sleep for an hour, I went back to bed! I enjoyed a long, hot bubble bath with no interruptions. Then I went to the shops – buying some bits and pieces for my husband’s birthday – then I tooked the dogs for a sunny walk in the park. So I packed a lot into my three hours ‘off’.
Joshua returned back, full of beans, and I enjoyed hearing all of the tales of what he had got up to and how he had behaved in ‘Donalds’ – he had enjoyed his chicken strips and had decided when he had had enough and so they all took his lead, and left when he was ready. I explained that he does not get to dictate that so much when he goes with his parents, but it was only trip 2 so she will get more confident at telling him ‘no’ I am sure, instead her son had to leave while still eating his burger, just because Joshua was ready!
I am delighted by how well they are both taking to each other, they seem to be having fun so we just need to work out some time next month to play again, as I am sure it will be easier if they have regular contact and get to know each other better. But I love how much not only the DP worker enjoys his company, but also her family seem to have taken Joshua to their hearts already : her son was keen to take him to the skate park with him and her daughter was disappointed that she was busy yesterday and would not see him.
As 4 year old Joshua left nursery school, the headteacher wrote in his ‘report’ that Joshua had a talent for getting into people’s hearts. She spotted something in that child that I did not recognise at the time, as his transition to mainstream primary school was mostly about what he could not do. But now over 13 years later, I see that she was indeed right, that his smile, affectionate nature and the twinkle in his eye does indeed win people over . That is a great skill for him to have and it should help him thrive in the future hopefully, especially when we are no longer around to take care of him.