Emma’s Foster Care Blog
For Dan who is autistic, routine is a ritual in our home, followed precisely, attention paid to the tiniest detail. His conversations are usually about trains, TV, adverts or reciting an entire film from memory. Traveling the same way to and from school, the sat nav must be on. Dan has to know what is going to happen every day which is comforting for him, for us this can become waring over time, it’s like Groundhog Day every day, it’s hard and challenging.
We spend 24/7 looking after him except for our annual leave, some years we have chosen not to take, putting his needs before ours. Dan hasn’t anyone else to stay with, no Nan and Grandad or family member he can go to, unlike your own birth children. Other children his age have a lot of freedom – for example, walking to school, or going to the park and shops by themselves, he can’t do that, he is not streetwise; he is vulnerable and far too trusting of other children and adults. Dan doesn’t really understand the world around him or why something is happening and it so difficult to find ways of showing him we trust him when he is not independent in many ways.
Most children don’t want to go to bed at night but not Dan; he is a stickler for his bedtime and finds it impossible to stay up late. He’s a teenager and I enjoy a challenge – so I decided to introduce a new routine on a weekend as Dan always wants to go to bed the same time and always wakes early, so no lay ins for us regardless of what time you try and keep him up till- I explained the alarm clock in his room is set to go off at 7am so he can watch TV until we get up, he got excited and went over in detail a few times which is usual, what I had told him.
The next morning I knocked on his door he replied ‘enter’ as he always does, he was sitting in bed reading his books just as every morning, he looked up at me stating ‘the TV came on it was noisy so I turned it off’. It’s very difficult for him to accept a different approach to something once he has been taught a way to do it.
We love being Foster carer’s we are so lucky because Dan claimed us as his family and is loved by all. He can only see kindness, love and happiness in everyone, he’s so interesting, funny and the smallest things please him. He is an exceptional child who sees things differently and battles daily with the things that are hard for him and so the smallest achievements make us incredibly proud of him.
My thoughts are- When you take any child into your family you are offering them unconditional love.
Emma – A Foster Carer’s Blog
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