Joshua does not like showers : he does not mind them once he is in them but it is a struggle to get him into a shower, which is a shame as is ensuite bathroom at respite only has a shower in it and he prefers a bath. The one bath that they do have is inaccessible for him and so they began a familiarization technique with him. Everytime that he went in the bathroom, to be changed or to brush his teeth, the shower would be turned on to get him familiar with the noise and the water spray, and the staff would put their hands under the water spray too. Joshua is happy enough for the shower to be turned on but he still objects when they suggest that he might like to shower. At home we would bundle him in, knowing that he would like it well enough once he was in, but Joshua is an adult, with free will and if he refuses something, it will not be pushed.
So when Joshua is in respite, he has a stand up wash instead of a bath or shower, and of course he comes to no harm over the course of a weekend. So last night , when I got home from work, I was greeted with hugs, kisses and thumbs ups showing me that he was happy to be back home. As soon as Yorkshire Grandma left, Joshua led the way upstairs to the bathroom, where he turned the taps on. I had to insert the plug but he knew what he wanted and it was clear that he had missed his bath, as well as his Mum. As it was running, and while he was still half dressed, he was lifting his leg up to climb into the bubbly water. He loves to stretch out and relax in the warm water and he was even willing for me to wash his hair, it was a fair price for him to enjoy his bath. He lay back and relaxed for at least half an hour, luxuriating in the experience that he had missed. He knelt up on his knees when he had had enough wallowing, holding his hand out for me to help him to stand up. I wrap him in his towel and he puts his hands around my neck and I swing him round and out of the bath. So he was in his pyjamas around 7 pm last night, all warm , clean and contented. He loves his bath-time ritual and it is an important part of his homecoming too, so all is well.