After school yesterday, we returned to the first Adult respite provision that we had looked around last summer. We wanted to ask some more questions, see how it was now that it was more established and to introduce the staff to Joshua and observe how they interacted. The manager greeted us at the door and she passed the first test as she looked only at Joshua and welcomed him first. Joshua responded with a smile but he was definitely uncertain, trying to work out where we had brought him and why. He was suspicious and kept giving my bear hugs while we were talking.
There was only one young lady there over this weekend and so we said hello to her and her carer, then sat around the dining room table talking with the manager, while Joshua roamed the ground floor. He explored and paced but was not interested in viewing a variety of bedrooms. We discussed how they would handle Joshua’s epilepsy more than anything else. We looked for something to amuse Joshua and he enjoyed playing a keyboard in the lounge. He sat next to the carer and stroked her long hair for a while and then he curled up in an armchair for a nap – he is usually worn out by the time Friday comes around. We talked about the next steps if this was to be our choice of Adult respite and how transition would be handled. While it does not have the established buzz of his current children’s provision, maybe no Adult place is as lively as that. This certainly felt more like a home than an institution, which I liked, but in reality it is the staff that make somewhere fun and warm, not the building.
We woke the dozing Joshua and promised him Donalds for tea to get him moving, so we said our goodbyes and left with plenty of food for thought. As ever sleepy Joshua passed the Donalds test, he got excited at his favourite fast food restaurant and he ate all of his chicken strips and chips and drank a full orange juice , before we headed home. I made a note to tell whichever adult provision he ends up at, that a trip to Donald’s would make any stay complete.