Hope you are all coping well in this uncertain time.
Who would of thought that a pandemic would happen in our lifetimes? Many of us, myself included, have been under the illusion that society, with the advancements in science and technology, would be able to handle anything that was thrown at it. Apparently not!
On 19th March 2020, I was asked to not send Julian into school until further notice. I am also a Play Coordinator for the Local Authority and we had decided to close this provision also. Like everyone, I had been listening to the news and seeing posts on Facebook about what was happening in the world, but I had not been really absorbing it, thinking it will be okay. “It won’t get too bad.”
The next week my world changed significantly. I have not left our house since the 19th March and neither has Julian. I decided that the best way to keep him safe was to just stay home, I did have the option to send him to school but I did not feel that was the right thing to do to keep him safe. His additional needs makes him extremely vulnerable. He touches things and puts his hands to his mouth all of the time, sits on knees and it is impossible to explain to him how important it is to keep washing your hands.
Anyway . . .
What have we been up to?
Well, homeschooling, this is a difficult subject as for Julian what happens at school only happens at school, there is no cross over. I have done the best I can without making it obvious that it is actual school stuff. I had to make a visual timetable so that he could see each day what was going to be happening. I have written ‘April Half term’ on the calendar and also ‘May Half term’. He has been marking off each day on the calendar each morning.
He has a fascination with DVD’s and has been asking for certain DVD’s each week. I order them, luckily, he is asking for the cheap ones. I tell him when they are due to be delivered, he then marks it on the calendar and asks each day when they are due to arrive.
He is spending time in the garden on his swing and trampoline in an effort to expend some energy. We have had some behaviour issues (understandable really), swiping his food on the floor, deliberately knocking glasses of water to the floor and breaking them and just watching the battery drain, minute by minute on his kindle; just a few examples.
Early mornings are more frequent too, 04:00 start to the day being more usual than not. He must be so confused with no visits to the beach or the restaurants that he loves. We have even missed Disney on Ice and staying in the ‘Purple House Bed’ (Premier Inn). Such a different world to the one he is used to and he so enjoys being out and about.
The world will get back to a ‘normal’ we acknowledge this, in the meantime we all need to keep safe.
At the beginning of the ‘lockdown’ I had a conversation with Director Sharon Cavaliere of Calon Cymru. I rang her for support, support in my decision to stay home and keep Julian off school. I have received weekly phone calls from my Supervising Social Worker, sometimes on camera so she can see Julian.
Each call is ended with ‘please let me know if there is anything you need’. Knowing the team is still there, working from home to support us through this difficult time is very comforting and I can’t thank them enough for all they have done and continue to do.
Each week communities thank key workers, NHS, etc for all they do, myself included. Social workers have had to continue to place children and keep them safe whilst maintaining safe distances. Unfortunately, children still need to be placed, so thank you Social Workers (and other Foster Carers) of the world for all you do.
Signing off for now,
*Foster Carer and Young persons name change for privacy reasons.