It’s been a while …


It’s been three weeks since my last post, and there have not been any real reasons why. I’ve just been a little bit lazy I suppose. I don’t like writing when there is a chance of being disturbed and with the problems we are experiencing with our youngest son, sitting and putting fingers to keyboard has not been the top of my to-do list. I think I’ve explained here before that Rh*s is Autistic and has several other linked conditions. One of the issues many Autistic people have is routine. Things have to be the same with little or no variation. Rh*s likes to know what he is doing, where and when he is doing it and who with. Changes, even the slightest can lead to anxiety and stress, which often manifests in his behaviour. He currently lives at his residential placement for 4 nights and 5 days a week. He is picked up from home Monday morning and returns Friday evening. It’s taken a long time to get to this stage, and he appears to be happy with the arrangement. He has his own flat and many staff to support him on a daily basis. However, it is now the time to plan his placement for the next year, and this is causing some issues.

I create a planner that shows the nights he sleeps at his flat and the nights he doesn’t. This planner is on his bedroom wall at Planner examplehome and one of his walls at his flat. The current planner ends on the 31st December this year. Since the middle of June, he has been ‘worrying’ that he is not going to his flat next year. Before he can see his dates we have to run it past the representative, of the people who funds his placement and this is where there has been a stumbling block. We believe, that as his placement is fully funded for 24/7 care, that the funders are going to insist on him going 24/7. We, as parents, and the support team do not think he is ready for this yet and we may have some arguments to overcome in the next couple of weeks. The uncertainty has come out in his behaviour, to the extent that he is not wanting to do some of the activities that we know he enjoys. He has also taken to ‘chanting’ about his dates. Every so often and at the moment it seems to be every hour or so he will recite “Friday, Saturday, Sunday” for every weekend up until the end of 2020. This is basically, we think is his way of asking “What am I doing next year?” We think he can actually picture his calendar in his head, rather than actually remembering the dates.

We were supposed to be meeting with the representative for a review of Friday, but the person had got some crossed wires and did not turn up. The meeting has now been rescheduled for early October, but this does not resolve the issue we have. What we and his care manager are now thinking, is that we just go ahead with the dates we are looking at, and if the funders are not happy with that, the issue will be taken to an advocate to speak for him in what they call “Best Interest”. From what I understand this advocate will look at what each party thinks is his best interest and make a decision. Could go either way, but I think that parents and carers know what is best for him more that someone sat at a desk with a financial spreadsheet in front of them. Gong to be a stressful couple of weeks.

An interesting weekend …


In fact, a very interesting weekend. So interesting for us, that I feel it is worth posting about. As I mentioned earlier, K*** has had a problem with her eyes and this has led to her spending much of the weekend trying to rest. She threw a sickie today as she didn’t think she would be able to cope at work, and it was probably a good idea. She is still in pain and and is still seeing the ‘floaters’ at the side of her head. She is going to ring the hospital tomorrow to find out if this is normal. She tells me that it seems to be improving, but only slightly and we don’t appear to have a time frame for improvement.

Now comes the interesting bit! R*** has been a real help. We rarely get a weekend where we do not have an issue with him. The usual issues range from a shouting episode to a full blooded melt-down and we always have a least one issue each day. But not this weekend. There has been nothing. He has been laughing, smiling, singing and generally having a good time. Of course there has been the odd time when he has been a little ‘grabby’ and squeezed my arm, but that has been when I’ve done, or attempted to do, something he did not want to do. And, the squeezing has been a kind of warning squeeze rather than the usual forceful type.

We have come to the conclusion, that he is somehow aware that his mum is not well and this has had some kind of ‘compliance’ effect on him. It maybe that he is just in a good mood, and that nothing has upset him this weekend, but it does seem very unusual, albeit in a good way.

He is on respite tomorrow and will be back on Friday and we will have to see how that goes. It is usually ‘okayish’ and there doesn’t seem to be too many issues, but it will be interesting to see if this current mood continues.

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That’s all for now. Just a little update that I had to share.

What is the point?


I’ll get to the point in a moment. First a little background.

Last week my wife and me had a few days away in the Derbyshire Peak District.  We were staying a a cottage, on a farm and were there for four nights. The cottage was not up to our usual expectations and was a bit of a disappointment, but I’m not going to dwell on that. We are both members of the National Trust and it was our intention to spend the days enjoying the sights of a number of the Trust’s properties that were in the area.

Now, here comes the ‘point’ that I mention. All the properties we visited are of some historical importance, and at least one (Hardwick Hall) is very significant in relation to the royal families of Britain. So given that these places are so important historically, it makes good sense that children are introduced them. I don’t have an issue with that. What I do take issue with, is parents that allow their offspring to just run wild. A question … why, when visiting a historical site, do you thin k it is a good idea for your children to take one of the following with them a) a football, b) a scooter and c) even a bicycle ? There are thousands of public parks in this country that children can ‘play’, why take them to a historical site to ‘play’? Many of the sites have even built specific safe play areas for kids. Then there is the noise factor. Why is it necessary to run around a 17th century church burial ground shouting and screaming? It would never have happened when I was young, and neither of my sons would even think that kind of behaviour is appropriate.

But I do not put all the blame on the children. The fault lies with the parents. The people who have brought them up to behave in that way. They are the ones that are the cause of the problem.

But not all the children were like what I have described. A small number were very well behaved. However, that n umber was very small.

Kids go shopping and other things …


One of the more unusual things that the local Education system has come up with is staggered half-term holidays. The example I would give of this is, that in Leeds area, half-term was last week. York however has their half-term this week. Now the thing about half-term is that it seems to a great excuse for some parents to take their kids  on ‘shopping’ expeditions!

Yesterday, Mrs H and me decided to take a trip to the York Designer Outlet. I didn’t particularly want anything, but K*** had somethings she wanted t look at. The place was packed! For those who don’t know, it’s an out-of-town shopping area that has mainly ’designer’ shops and a few chain restaurants. Shops like L K Bennett, Gucci and many other big names. So it’s not the kind of place that first springs to mind when taking children, in the 5 to 9 age group out for the day. I can see it being attractive for kids in their middle teens, but not young children. But they were there … in their hoards!

The problem is, that most of them are so load and badly behaved. There was one family that annoyed me greatly. It was a mother with three kids that could not have been aged more than 10 or 11.  I was waiting for K*** to finish in a shop, and in this particular location there were two BMW cars on show. The mother (and I’m assuming she was the mother) was using her mobile phone, and it must of been a quite important call as she was totally oblivious of what her offspring were up to. These ‘childer-beasts’ seemed to thing that it was perfectly acceptable to take it in turns to climb in and out of the two expensive vehicles, banging doors and sounding the horn.

Another example of this behaviour was the two ‘things’ that thought it was fun to run up and down the travellators in the wrong direction, bumping into people. These kids just don’t seem to have any respect or manners. I hate to say the obvious but, “It was not like that when I was a child!”

==== Here endeth the rant ====

It gets closer …..


    I don’t need to tell anyone, but it just over a week to go. Then we can get back to some form of normality, whatever that may be. Just a couple of presents to get, (last minute hints from Mrs H) and I should be done. So I’ll be nipping off to the White Rose centre tomorrow, and I also need to pay a visit to Aldi too. I need to get some Parmesan, and it seems to be one of the best places to buy it. We also bought some ‘mini’ mince pies there last year. They came out top in the Which Best Buy.

     This week will see the usual Christmas Fuddles start. Ours is on Friday, but I’ve also been invited to the one at my previous office, on Wednesday. I made the mistake of saying I would go there on Monday or Tuesday and was told that I was invited. I now have to find an excuse not to go. I never liked it when I worked there, so I’m not going to like it now. I think D*** will get it, but the rest of them won’t.

     K*** and me went to R***’s college on Friday. It is just outside Barnsley, and we (replace the with ‘I’) had to drive through dreadful weather. It was icy, foggy, and rainy at the same time. There had been numerous accidents on the M1, and it had been closed in parts, so we opted to travel the A1 instead. I think, if the weather had been better, it would have proved to be the more suitable road. It certainly seemed a lot easier to find his college this time, and I don’t think it was anything to do with the fact we have been three times before.

     It was a good day, and it was nice to see the flat where R*** has his base, and to meet the support staff he works with. I have just thought though. He currently uses this flat just as a day base. He does not sleep there when he is on respite, because it is/was a shared resource. The person who shared with him, will be based in another flat in the future. I wonder if they have given any thought to R*** using this flat as his respite flat now. To me it makes sense, although there may be many reason why the management cannot put this in place. However, it is worth a phone call next week. I shall let you know.

     His psychiatrist and the community nurse, that works with us, told K*** that they wanted to have their next meeting at a different place from usual. They tried to sell it to me as a way of getting him used to different places. However, it came out in Friday’s meeting, that this place is some kind of secure unit/place of safety. It did not click at first, but his psychiatrist want to get him on to an anti-psychotic drug to help manage his behaviour. Now we had this before, when he was put on a drug, and it completely disagreed with him. It made him worse. He was depressed, sobbing and weeping often, and also self-harming. The self-harm was only minor, hitting the side of his head and nipping himself, but the specialist wanted to increase the drug, bur we said we wanted to stop it. After a day or too, he was back to ’normal’ or as normal as he was before.  So what this new psychiatrist want to do, is to take him into ‘hospital’ so they can observe and monitor him whilst on this drug. This secure unit is the ‘hospital’ they want to use. We are going to have to be very careful here. I don’t want him on any anti-psychotics, and I think K*** feels the same, but I feel that there may be plans that we are not party to. A year ago, he was a teenager with Autism and challenging behaviour. Now it seems that he some kind of psychopath and a danger to the community !!!!! When did that all change.

Is a lie, a deterrent ?


     A strange question you may ask, but bear with me. At the end of the village, there are two bottle banks. The City Council is responsible for emptying them and I would say they do a satisfactory job for most of the time. The problem arises when the banks get full. People want to ‘do their bit’ but are not prepared to come back another day, if the banks are full. They just leave them at the side of the banks, in the vain hope that when they get emptied, the contractor will put their bottles in for them. At best, they just get smashed by kids, as behind the bottle bank, is an area that some kids tend to use as a den. It is about three metre square and has a hedge, backing onto a field, which is how the kids get in. It is an ideal place for them to drink their cheap cider and smoke whatever they are smoking these days. Basically get involved in anti-social behaviour.

     Now, how does the Council overcome this. Do they make sure the kids cannot get to the back of the bottle banks? Do they ask the Police to patrol more in that area? Do they write to the parents, telling them what some kids are getting up to. None of those, and this is where my post title comes in. The Council has put a sign up advising everyone that CCTV is in operation !! Well, you might say, that would be a deterrent. It would, if there was a CCTV camera in place. As it is, there is nowhere to put a camera. What would it show? All it would show, is people putting bottles into a bottle bank. As the kids get into their ‘den’ from the field behind, it would not pick them up. So, is a lie a deterrent ? Not in my book is isn’t.