Respite Recipe for success

It was special to see Joshua’s beaming face as we delivered him to his respite provision yesterday afternoon. Ordinarily he is taken by taxi straight from school so I hear about his reaction second-hand, so it was wonderful to see his happiness for myself. He dragged me inside and had a greeting for everyone : they all got a smile, but some staff got a hug too – Joshua always shows who his favourites are. I had not been anxious that he had settled in – this is only his fourth weekend after all – but it was added reassurance that his comfort there had not been exaggerrated. In fact the staff have commented that he is so at home , that they too feel as though he has been staying with them forever.

I suppose that they are very used to dealing with autistic young people who may get aggitated by change, who need to be well-prepared for new routines and who acclimatise gradually. Compared to that response, Joshua will appear to be very laid back as he simply seems to accept change well, as though to say ‘Ok, this is where we are and whats happening now is it?’ I am certain that he is confident that he is loved and that he will come home soon, so that he might as well get on and enjoy this break from the norm while he can. I think that many of us could learn a thing or two from Joshua on his outlook on life, as it would avoid a lot of stress.

This weekend he is only staying for 24 hours however and we are collecting him again this afternoon , so that we can take him to see ELO in concert tonight. The staff at the respite provision claim that they will try not to wear him out too much so that he stays awake tonight, but after the last few nights of broken sleep, I fear that is unlikely. However hopefully the atmosphere of the concert will be infectious and our seats have been upgraded, so now we are nearer to the stage than we were due to be, so that should help to engage him. Hopefully his love of music will override his tiredness.

We are staying overnight in a hotel, so that we don’t face a late drive home afterwards. Knowing what we are like, all three of us together in a family room does not bode well for a good night’s sleep, with all of us snoring, my early starts and Joshua’s potential insomnia existing. Ultimately, at home when I get up at 5am, I can come downstairs and move about quietly but that will not be so easy in a family room presumably. Downstairs in the kitchen  I can eat an early breakfast to suit me, whereas the hotel is unlikely to be able to provide me with toast and marmite, as though I am eating out. Rather, I expect to take myself off for a walk once it is light and I can explore another city as it awakens.