We had booked an afternoon tea spa yesterday, allowing us access to Aqua Sana from 2pm until 6pm and took Joshua along with us. We were greeted with a reminder that Joshua is now a teenager and not a 5 year old, who can readily go with mummy into the ladies changing rooms! A male member of staff had to wheel him through the men’s changing rooms to meet me in the disabled cubicle which connected both changing rooms. Once I had got him into his trunks, the same employee wheeled him away for me to meet him in the spa, after having put our clothes in my locker. Joshua is sociable and is not concerned by strangers pushing Him in his chair, but I can imagine that it might distress some young people.
This however is a sharp reminder that as Joshua grows older, and taller, we will face new challenges as a disabled adult in the world. Disabled toddlers and young children can be sweet but they can become more intimidating as they grow older and physically larger. The happy bouncing that Joshua did when he was three, is more bizarre behaviour now that he is 5’10”! Soon I will not be able to take him into Ladies toilets with me to change him, then what do I do if I’m alone and there’s no disabled facility?once inside the spa we went into the outside hydrotherapy pool where we met the other 6 members of our party. Joshua beamed and immediately knew what to do, as he swims three times a week at school. Off he went, like a roaming jellyfish , in and out of the other bathers. He moved quickly , bouncing on his good leg. I let him go free, but keeping a safe distance away, as he relishes this freedom of movement, supported by the warm water. He grinned and whizzed around for over an hour. He enjoyed watching the hen parties and groups of girls who had come out for Sunday afternoon , but sometimes got too close to them.
It was heart-warming to see Joshua so happy and having such fun. It seems that he might enjoy a spa just as much as his dad!