My boy and I had an appointment this afternoon. Yes, on a Sunday.
We went to visit Autism Queensland’s Respite home – Birralee.
It’s taken quite a while for us to get to this point. Lots of paperwork and referrals and form filling, but when I got a call during the week to say that we could take this first step and go to have a look – I was pretty excited!
From the outside it looks like a regular suburban house, but I was was very happy with all the various security measures they had in place. L had a great time exploring the house and found a couple of things that sparked his interest – tissues and a sliding door. While we were there, he would have said ‘don’t touch tissues’ or ’tissues finished now’ about 50 times (every couple of minutes!). He does like to completely unpack a box of tissues, one by one into a nice little fluffy white mountain. So I generally keep them out of his reach, but there were a couple of boxes in easy access – woooooooo! However, he was very self disciplined and managed just to TALK about them, not to touch them. I was pretty impressed by that.
He’s always been a bit of a door guy. From very early on he was interested in doors and how they opened and shut. One of the very first comprehensible things he ever said was ‘shutthedoor’ (a three word phrase, mashed into one sing-songy word). He doesn’t like an open door. It’s as though it’s untidy or unfinished, and he is compelled to close them. Then open them. Then close them…etc. So he really enjoyed doing that with the sliding door – something we don’t have at home.
He also sat down and had a lovely cup of tea and ate a muffin. So, I would say that it was a pretty darned successful introduction. Next step won’t be for another two months when he’ll get to stay there (without me) for a day. Once you are ‘on the list’ they match him with other kids on the list, so that there is a complimentary group. There’s only ever four kids at the most and two staff members. Then he/we will be offered a respite weekend once a quater. I’m notorious for my optimism, but this is looking pretty good to me. I’m excited!
yes I know…this is two photo’s. Stop complaining!!