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 home 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.
Yesterday was a day I was a little apprehensive about. I was meeting up with an old school friend for lunch. We have met a couple of times over the past few years, but I seem to have been trying to avoid meeting again. I can’t say why. We both get on together. We have similar interests and both enjoy reminiscing our school days. However, whether it is an age thing we always seem to talk about the same thing … teachers, school-mates, punishments and the general high-jinx we can remember getting up to. We did chat about our current respective jobs, but not much of anything else. Now the problem is, for both of us is a memory thing. He remembers many of the people we were with at school, and I only a few. But then again, I remember things that happened that he can’t remember. So it makes for an interesting lunchtime. We have both promised to ‘do it again, soon’ but I’m not sure it will happen.
Today was K***s birthday. I did mention earlier that she was having a family break with her sister and father. I was going for the day to celebrate her birthday and have a nice lunch. That was the plan, and to all intense and purpose that plan was successful. The only downside was the location of the lunch venue. It was The Horseshoe Inn, in Levisham and was only 15 minutes away from the cottage they were staying at. The place itself was great, and the food was mostly very good. I had Haddock and Chips. The fish was well cooked, but the chips seemed to be in the fashion of triple cooked chips. I’m not a fan really. They tend to be really dark, over cooked looking and not the golden brown chips I was brought up on. Always seem a little bit greasy to me. But back to the down side. The ride to get there was tortuous. It was all narrow, windy country lanes, but the worst part was the inclines and declines. At one stage the road sign said that the incline was 1 in 5 (an old sign which is usually replaced by one saying 20%) which is quite steep at the best of times, but when you factor in the twists and turns of the road, it was a bit of a nightmare. I drove most of the way without getting out of third gear and on the 1 in 5 stage, I was forced to drop to second gear. One of the most scarier drives I have taken, and then I had to drive back.
K*** is back at some point tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it. I mentioned before about the noises, but not about the silence in between. I do like my own company, but I often find that I talk to myself as if there was another person there. I explain things that I know about, as if there is somebody with me that knows a lot less than me. Sounds a bit weird, but my doctor tells me that it can be quite a normal thing. To cap it all, there is nothing on the television that I want to watch. I can’t watch the few programs we watch together, as they are being recorded for when K*** gets home, so if the telly goes on, it is usually and old comedy show or the news. the comedy shows I have watched before, and these days the news is so full of doom and gloom, that it is positively depressive. Still it does give me a little time to write a new blog post.
A bit of an update on yesterdays ‘scary’ moment post. I noticed, this morning, a news item on my WordPress dashboard, advertising a WordPress event in Leeds. It would seem that there is a local WP group that meets up quite regularly. It is not likely that I would attend, but I thought it would be good to find out a little more, as I had no idea that this kind of thing existed in the UK.
So to get at the main details etc, I had to join up with an organisation called ‘meetup.com’. Sounded reasonable, so I went ahead and started to fill in the required email, username and password. I scrolled to the bottom of the screen, looking for the ‘next’ button when I spotted one of those Google location markers. To my surprise my location was described as “Huddersfield”. The Google alert claimed that the login attempt was from a PC in the Huddersfield area. A bit of a coincidence!
Now, here’s what I think has happened. The bathroom fitters had to turn off the electric for a while, which of course turned off the internet router. When the power was restored my PC tried to log me back into my Google account, and it failed a couple of times. When It did finally log me in, I then got the notification of the ‘Account Alert’ So it seems (don’t quote me on this) that the perceived hacking attempt, was actually me. Somehow, something was indicating the my laptop was in Huddersfield. Very bizarre indeed as it has never been to Huddersfield.
At the end of the day, I was probably safe, but it did shake me up a little and made more determined to review my password management.
The ubiquitous ‘team’ meeting today. I cannot think of anybody in the office that was looking forward to it. We have to go through this, usually, once a month. The main problem is, that most of the information we receive, is already on the Intranet !! So basically we have a hour listening to stuff most of us know already. Of course we get a ‘thanks for coming’ at the start of the meeting, but unless you are off work, you don’t really get a choice.
This should be publisized on facebook and Twitter …… we shall see !!!
Today was the day everyone dreads. Team Brief day !!! I cannot say what I really think about out meetings, as my blog is not ‘X’ rated. Suffice to say, it always is an experience !!!! A day to put out of your mind forever !!!! The words boring, patronising and condescending are too mild to describe what we have to put up with on a monthly basis. The Service Manager came in for the first five minutes and gave us some important information. We all took this information in, and there was no questions. There was no need. Then, the line manager spent the next 20 minutes explaining (in terms we low life could understand) what the Service Manager had said !!!! We are not stupid !!!! Even the ones that are not the brightest candles in the chandelier, understood, so why the patronisation ?
The problems we had with the IT software got resolved. As I expected, it was a problem with our IT department. It would appear, that a shared, temporary folder on the network had been set as read only. Who did that, and more importantly, why ? You see, the main problem we have, is that our IT department does not understand the software, what it does or how it works, and the software house does not understand how our IT department works. This often leads to very stressful and difficult times, with me trying to explain the workings of each. Not an easy task, when both parties believe they know best.
Quite a reasonable day today, except for the start. Today was the day we have our “regular” team meeting. I use the word regular in it’s most broad sense. We are supposed to have one every month, but thankfully, it is a lot less often. The problem is, that it last for 75 minutes, and 90% of the meeting could take 20 minutes only. Someone like the sound of his own voice too much. The agenda is always the same, and for the most times, the content is the same too.
The rest of the work day went okay. I think I have managed to sort out the problems with the handheld repairs. It would appear that the repair company were unable to create an RMA for 4 cases, so they left them !!! It was only when I contacted them, that someone realised the problem and tried again. I would put money on the fact, that I won’t get a customer satisfaction survey for these cases.
Youngest has been okay tonight. He got a bit upset when someone was letting fireworks off. They really seem to bother him now. It was strange, because when the first couple went off, he seemed to be quite excited, but that soon changed. To his credit, when I told him to put his head phones on, he did so straight away, and kept them on for a good 2 hours. They are noise cancelling full ear phones, and when they switched on really deaden all external noise.
He tried the IPod at school today. It looks like they have been showing him what to do, and he seems to have some understanding. I still think that it will not be of much use for him. School thinks it is marvellous !!! Mrs H spoke with the Principal today, who is determined to find the money to buy some IPods and the software to use in school. Maybe they can see more different uses than I can.
It has been a very interesting day. That is, after I had recovered from last night. It was almost midnight when S**** and me came out of the pub, and although I had not had a lot to drink, I had a bit of a bad head this morning. It was a good evening though, and it seems I may now be part of the ‘group’ now. Or as St**** put it ‘one of us now’.
We had the software house ‘User Group’ meeting today. Spike had arranged it, and it seemed to be going very well. Then, the guest speaker overran on her presentation slightly, and the question and answer session raised a number of issues, which delayed the remaining parts of the meeting. We had to be out of the meeting/luncheon rooms by 2pm, and by 1pm Spike was beginning to look like a headless chicken. All good fun. the lunch buffet was fine, but there was nothing to drink !!! Not even water, which did not go down well at all.
Eldest went back to his place tonight. I think Mrs H is beginning to start to get used to the whole idea now. He brought loads of washing with him, and she is going to take it back tomorrow, and try and get him signed up at the Uni’s gym. It apparently costs £100.00 for the year, or £4.00 per visit. Well you only have to go once a week, and your already making a big saving. He seems to think, that he will go a couple of times a week, and go swimming too. Swimming will be good for his back.
It should be a reasonably quiet day tomorrow. Spike is off, and I do not have too much on at the moment. I need to try and sweet talk the software house into either giving us 4 user license for one of our applications, or at least letting us have it cheap. I do not know how that is going to turn out. They want us to upgrade to a different piece of software, and it is not something we are in a position to do at the moment.