A had visited three different families before deciding where he’d like to live, and he chose me which was really lovely. His previous placement had fallen through, and he’d spent three weeks in respite care whilst a suitable long-term placement that he felt comfortable with could be found.
A has been a part of our family now for just over a year and he has fitted in so well. A has autism and to start with, he struggled with the fact that we did things differently in our household to his previous foster family. With perseverance and consistency though we have helped A to settle in well. I have another foster child and he is autistic and non-verbal. They get on so well together.
A has also been doing incredibly well at school. It’s a great constant in his life where he knows everyone there well and he enjoys the regular routine there.
I’m from a large family myself and we all try to get together as much as possible (Covid permitting!) which A really enjoys. There are 6 of us in the household and he loves being part of that unit. He needs a lot of help and attention on a day-to-day basis, and I think our whole family dynamic has really enabled him to thrive.
The thing I think has helped A to flourish the most since coming here, is his sleep pattern! It has been such a breakthrough for us. When A first arrived, he would put his alarm clock on to wake up at 4:30 – 5am. When I asked him why, he said that he wanted to play on his tablet for a while before school. Getting past that towards a healthy sleep pattern was a huge achievement for A. There is now no tech at all before school and I have to wake him up at 7am. Now that he is getting 8-10 hours of sleep each night, he is so much brighter and looks so much healthier in himself.
We have had other challenges, like showering for example, but again, with consistency in the rules and ensuring he knows why these routines are so important, we persevere and get through each thing one at a time.
A is such a big part of our family now and he is treated as any other family member. That’s what he’s always ever desperately wanted and needed – to be part of a family.