The new “Garden Cupboard” is built and in place. It is a lot bigger than I expected and not as stable as I think it should be. The location where I sited has a slight gradient to it so I thought that I needed to raise one end up on bricks. That might not be the case as it seems that the floor has a bit of give in it. This means that with being raised up a little at one end, it is a little difficult to close the lid properly. I have a shelf to fasten in yet which should help with the stability, so we shall see what happens then. The shelf that I’m using is the side of an old cabin bed that the eldest used have in. He grew too tall for it and we had to get him another and as I’m a bit of a wood-nerd, I refused to throw any wooden parts away. I knew they would come in useful someday.
The youngest is back from his midweek respite this afternoon. His usual lead carer has left to work elsewhere and this could have serious repercussions for everyone. K*** is quite worried about it. The lead carer he had was very good with him and knew all his quirks and ways. One of his ‘quirks’ is when he is asked if he wants to do something. They are big on personal choice, but with R*** you have to expand the choice range. For example it is no good saying “R*** do you want to go shopping?” as he will invariably respond with “No shopping!” That “No” response would mean he never actually take part in any activity as it would always be ”No…” We found out over the years that you have to give him a choice of two things. So instead of saying “… do you want to go shopping?” the question would be something like “R*** do you want to go shopping or go for a walk by the river?” That type of question will always receive a positive response to either one of the two choices. So in actual fact he is getting more choice not less.
It is that kind of thing that they don’t all seems to get their heads around, and it is a worry. The next few weeks are going to be a challenge, especially as from the beginning of July his respite days are to increase. There is going to be a lot of crossed fingers in this house!
Yesterday was different. It was an ‘open day’ at R***’s college and we had been invited, and of course Mrs H said we would. The problem we believed would present itself, would be that R*** would not want to go, and we would have major problems with him. In fact, I was quite prepared to say, if needed, that Mrs H should go, and I would stay behind with R***. Just to prove us both wrong, when Mrs H told him that we were going out, he of course said ‘No out!!’, which we have come to expect, but after that, nothing. He got into the car without any fuss, and only mentioned it again, when we got near the college and he recognised the area.
One of the things he does at this college, is woodwork, and he has made a couple of bird houses and a bird feeder. I was determined to try and talk to the person he works with, and find out how he is doing. All the reports that have come back, tell us that he has found something that he is good at and enjoys, other than the computer. The trainer/tutor/carer (not really sure as to what we call them) explained that R*** seemed to have a talent for woodwork, and they are able to work together very well. He then called R*** over and got him to show us what he can do. It was quite amazing to watch him sawing away, without any prompting or any fuss or upset at all.
We were there about two and a half hours (two hours more than I expected) and the only disappointment was that the staff that work with him every day were not there. We have met them before, but we both thought that they would have been there.
On the work front, there is no more news on the forthcoming review. My line manager is pushing me to do thing that I’m not sure about, with the idea that, I’ll get the next available grade up from the one I’m at now. And it is that which I’m not too sure about! All I want is to ensure that I don’t lose out financially. If another grade comes with a huge amount of extra responsibility, then I have worries. My manager tells me it is a confidence rather than a skills issue and I do agree with her on that. I suppose the extra money would be useful, and so I will just have to wait and see what happens.