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Week in the life of a male foster carer 24th October – 31st October

‘Despite waking me up early and being stroppy all morning, it was really very sweet nonetheless.’


Background

T has been with us for about 6 months. He is 10 years old and is diagnosed with ASD though it seems quite mild. Some of his symptoms that are attributed to ASD could also be just down to the fact that T is a 10 year old boy. In general he is a very happy lad but one who has moments of anxiety and has some problems dealing with his emotions. Because of his condition he does get fixated on things so he has a strong passion for cars and certain movies and TV programmes and at the moment he has a sometimes unhealthy obsession with Loom Bands (tiny little elastic bands that the kids make into bracelets).

I am married with three children, one at home, one at University and one living just down the road, and I am the main carer as my wife has a full time job as an Assistant Principal at a Sixth Form College.

This week my daughter will be writing the blog so she can share some of her views on fostering.

 

Friday 24 October
Today, after T was home from school he came running up the stairs to my room in order to announce, very proudly I might add, that he had just answered the phone for the first time. He told me in great detail how the conversation had gone. He was very proud of himself.

T: Hello, can I help?
Caller: Yes, is B there?
T: Yes he is, I’ll go and get him for you.

Afterwards he spent some time in my room testing out mine and his speakers, insisting that he needed some new ones because his were rubbish in comparison to mine. Dad had to point out that T is only ten, and his speakers are loud enough and good enough to be heard everywhere upstairs when he uses them, so perhaps he doesn’t ‘need’ some new ones. After that, T stayed in my room playing with the speakers still. Whilst some of his favourite music is awful, for a ten year old he has a pretty sick music taste.

Saturday 25th October
Didn’t see T much today, but whenever I did it happened to be when I was rather busy which is always infuriating. He spent a lot of Saturday constantly talking to me when I was trying to concentrate on writing an essay. I feel rude telling him to go away or anything though, so he sort of just becomes white noise in the background after a while.

Lunch was an interesting one today. T likes to make his own lunch and he loves Batchelor’s pasta sauces but today when I came downstairs I found him sat on the floor of the kitchen moaning and insisting that the eight minutes it takes to make one of the pastas was simply too long and he ‘could not be bothered’. Now T is a boy who is very much fuelled by his stomach, if he is having a strop in his room then he will finish it as soon as dinner is ready, if he is refusing to dry up after dinner then he will immediately come to his senses and grab a tea towel once he’s told he’ll lose his pudding if he doesn’t come and help. So for T to be complaining because a food he loves takes eight whole minutes to make really was something else. I didn’t stick around to see what happened but I’m pretty sure after wasting about ten or fifteen minutes of complaining, he got up and made his pasta.

Sunday 26th October
Today T went away for a couple days. Before he left though he managed to wake me up, considerably earlier than I would have liked, with a strop about not wanting to help Dad and S make breakfast (after putting up a brief fight, he went downstairs, made his own breakfast of cereal, and then had another strop because S and Dad asked him to help clear up after breakfast).

Before he left he came into my room to tell me that he was real excited about playing Sims at some point after he got back (which I had told him we could do together). Despite waking me up early and being stroppy all morning, it was really very sweet nonetheless.

Monday 27th October
T is still away.

Tuesday 28th October
T came back this evening but I didn’t really see him.

Wednesday 29th October
Didn’t really see him again today. Saw him briefly with my friend O, B was helping him with spellings which, of course, T was not particularly ecstatic about. O helped him to spell ‘solar’ by showing him how to sound out the word and then spell it slowly, thinking about how it sounds as you do it.

Thursday 30th October
Today I spent the day in my room with two friends. We’d come back from a party held the night before at about midday. T came to my door several times whilst we were trying to catch up on some sleep we had missed out on. The first time was to remind me about playing Sims and to tell me to make sure I didn’t forget, which I assured him repeatedly I would not. Second he came to my door in order to show me his remote control car and to drive it on the landing for me. I asked him to let me have a quick drive which he rather reluctantly let me do, but he soon took the controls back after I crashed into the banister (as it turns out I’m not very good with remote control cars). Another time he came to my door to tell me that he knows what Dad and S are getting me for my birthday. He was very, very, very excited about this and he almost revealed the surprise several times, I had to do my best to stop him from accidentally giving it away. He came to my door another two or three times (all of this in the space of about three hours I might add) to remind me again and again to not forget about Sims. Can you tell he was excited?

Friday 31st October
T was quite helpful today, assisted S in making lunch, offered everyone drinks, he was very polite. At midday R and C FaceTimed us all to tell us about Kenya. T was incredibly excited for the entire phone call, he couldn’t sit still. In the evening I played Sims with him, as promised. He enjoyed it a lot but got frustrated at the end when I told him it was time to finish.

After Sims, T got very excited about having trick or treaters come to the door. We were all quite surprised at this as recently T got scared at a school dance because of a scary Halloween costume and just yesterday he was too scared to walk through the hallway in the dark. Up until this evening he hadn’t been the least bit interested in Halloween because he had been so scared and, very sensibly, didn’t want to do anything on Halloween because he knew it would scare him further. But then, he totally changed his mind and started to get upset that no one had done anything for him for Halloween. So after dinner S came upstairs and asked me and my boyfriend, who were getting ready to go out, to go and trick or treat on our house so that T could answer the door and partake in Halloween. He was quite excited that he got to answer the door and give out some sweets, and when I got home I was told another couple of people had trick or treated on our house and according to S and Dad, T was absolutely over the moon about it.