Josh’s cupboard today. He has a cupboard reaching from one wall to another. Four massive double doors- with shelves stacked full of things that have been there for 20 years+. One part or this cupboard I attempted to clear the other day was the files put there after he finished a part of his education- whether it was special school Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn. perhaps the senior part for 16-19 yr olds called Rock House. Wonderful years, wonderful staff, it was frightening for parents when the children were leaving this warm atmospheres Josh had been for over ten years. And this is an understatement- but would take pages & pages to convey!!!!
Where they would have days on work placements. You can tell by Josh’s excitement 😦 in his face that he wasn’t keen on gardening!
The figurine Josh made is still on display in our living room & Julian has always said ‘Josh didn’t make that’. But from these photos I’ve found- yes he did! ( may have had lots of help – but it sort of looks like his style and now I know it is a prisoner!)
I can mainly tell the photos of Josh at this age around 16/18 as he has so much more hair.
Love the ironing pose in photo below! We were excited by the hand holding with Alice,but it fizzled out even though they went up to Derwen at the same time!
And then at 19 he went onto the fantastic ‘Derwen College, a residential College that works with young people with learning difficulties and disabilities, providing inspirational learning, development and care to enable the achievement.’
If you have read my book- ‘Laugh or you’ll cry’
– from the age 16, we were building up to Josh being able to reach a stage where he would feel happy to move away to such a residential placement as Derwen. This was such an achievement. As parents we couldn’t believe how settled he became from the first week really. It all seems so long ago now- but at the time what a lucky lad he was to be accepted and to move over to Derwen near Oswestry to live for three years of his life.We weren’t so much thinking ‘Derwen’, but the future, and supported living- Oh what an enormous subject, which I only touch on fleetingly!!!!!!!!!.
However as usual I digress- I was sorting the cupboard, going through file upon file. With each A4 sheet seemingly inside a plastic sleeve. So much sorting and I was mainly keeping the pages with his writing or photos.
The photos below he has now moved onto Derwen ( put on some weight as the apron extenuates) The food was great!
I think poor Josh was managing to hobble around whilst taking part in the ‘hospitality’ section at Derwen- with his foot in plaster- having fallen down the stairs on the eve of his 21st birthday in France. But you all know this if you have read my blog before! as it seems to be mentioned ever other blog!
He looks in distain at this photo below of the ‘correct equipment to clean the stairs’- perhaps he is hoping the young lady would like to demonstrate how to actually use them & he could take notes. As for the photo of cleaning the loo I think all our kids at Uni age should have to take in this part of the syllabus :).
And below are the last selection . I felt like I had learnt so much about his time at Rock House, & Derwen.
For three years after he’d returned from Derwen he attended as a day pupil at Deeside or Northop College- studying Computer Skills, or Floristry ( that was a great few years receiving all his floral pieces!).
Just a selection of the pieces he made, & photos I took ( bottom left photo –he gave this one to his gran, I think was his best. The room looks busy with get well cards- you can see the photo of my mum in a oval frame on her piano, which I now have on my mantle piece). xx
Proof I had condensed all those folders- box ready for charity. Whilst I was clearing I came across 12 old calendars- kept for what reason! so I cut up some fav photos of Laurel & Hardy and the rest went in the bin . Julian says our recycle bags were overflowing this week! Abba, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet calendars etc! Plus 10 years of files from different establishments.
The photo of his Chuckle brothers pen has run out of ink & my job is to try & find a replacement biro to refill as it Josh’s favourite pen. Time now to think about tea…………