Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Autism, carers and Christmas

Since moving into his current home in Taunton, Colm has become increasingly settled.  He has less anxiety and fewer and smaller episodes of challenging behaviour.

Despite from breaking his wrist, Colm had a good Christmas season.  This is Colm's ideal Christmas Day -
  • Arrive at Dad's house (mine) at 2 pm
  • Give and receive Christmas presents - especially receive!
  • Get the main Christmas present he's been wanting for months (this year it was a Sony PS3)
  • Christmas dinner - must be traditional fare! - at 3 pm
  • Ring Mum after dinner to thank her for the money she sent for Christmas, and tell her not to forget to send money for his birthday
  • Play computer games, sometimes solo and sometimes with one of the other boys
  • Christmas supper around 7:30 pm
  • Go home around 9 pm
  • Bed at 11 pm

Colm didn't know until Boxing day that he had incurred a minor wrist fracture.  Colm had broken his wrist before, so going to hospital for treatment was familiar to him and thus not stressful.  The rest of the day was spent setting up and playing with his Sony PS3.

On 27th December, Colm once again came to my house, this time to see his Aunt (my sister, my only sibling).  He hasn't seen her since she moved to Jersey, 2 years ago and had been anticipating this visit for a long time.  Thirty seconds after seeing her, he was bored and spent the rest of his visit playing computer games.  He had an enjoyable time.

Colm started 2010 in a really happy frame of mind.  His living accommodation is provided by a company who specialise in caring for autistic people.  Their clients are, where possible, housed in small units.  Routines are established, maintained and only varied when absolutely necessary.  His care package has been developped in consultation with me and the local Social Services department.  I receive monthly reports and there are bi-annual meetings to review Colm's care.  Over the last couple of years this has produced the successful regime in place today.

I don't know if this kind of care provision is available in other parts of the UK or even anywhere else in the world, but I believe that Colm is really fortunate - as am I, as his primary carer - to be living in accommodation which is almost tailor made for him.


alice said...

glad you sorted colm care out. im sure in different parts of the country you wouldnt have such understanding staff.

i have a niece and nephew with learning problems and when it came to statmenting, it was a hard slog. x

Nechtan said...

Hi Robert,

Great stuff. It must be good to know one of your children is settled and enjoying life. That PS3 will no doubt give him hours of enjoyment through that day and anyone living alone needs somethin to occupy some of the time. I hope life for Colm continues in the same way for the coming year.

All the best


♥ Kathy said...

I think that's awesome that you have that kind of care available!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

An experiment. Hope you dont mind me sending people to your excellent blog on the 16th January.

Robert said...

alice - everything is a hard slog when dealing with officialdom! I know that other parts of the country don't have such comprehensive services available for folk with autism. We're fortunate.

Nechtan - Colm's contentment has taken a vast weight off my shoulders! I hope it continues too!

Kathy - I would have expected this quality of care to be available - at a price, perhaps? The UK's care system, despite its many shortcomings, is very good - despite being free for users.

Robert said...

GOK - Thanks for the compliment! I'm looking forward to 16th January to find out what you have in mind...

Ruby said...

It's great to hear Colm is doing so well, and that he has a great team to assist him.

I used to work in the disability field as a support worker in independent living homes. We have great services here as well, and its great to see these young adults and adults living their lives independently.

Robert said...

Ruby - Colm is nearly 30 now, so he deserves his little piece of happiness at long last!