» Adulthood

Michael's new life in home of his own

At last I have got a good photo of Michael and a chance to write an update on him – here goes.

Michael is now 26 years old and is living in a community home with three other young men and their team of carers.

We owe so much to them – any worries that we had when Michael left home have been unfounded.

We cannot praise them enough – they have given Michael the chance to grow into an independent young man (independent of us that is). He needs 24-hour care but is presently very settled and happy.

A new anti-depressant has turned his life around. He is so relaxed and happy which makes it so much easier to take him out and visit all sorts of places such as the cinema and theatres.

He is generally healthy but he does tear his finger nails off. He moans a bit but he cannot possibly feel the pain that you would expect. He doesn’t talk but can communicate well using sign language.

His favourite activity is listening to music. He is still very keen on classical tunes and marching bands – anything with a melodic sound or strong beat. Christmas carols are favourite ... all year long.

Rock Band

Michael’s brother plays in a marching band called Cadence in Reading and in a rock band called the Photodelics. His sister used to be in a marching band and is a good singer so perhaps it is a family thing although John and I have no musical talent whatsoever.

At present I am in the middle of painting a mural on Mike’s bedroom walls. He is quite destructive with pictures so I thought it would be a good idea.

One of his care workers suggested an “undersea world” theme. It is working out so much better than I could have hoped. Michael just loves it.

The other men also love it so I am going to do their rooms later, obviously tailored to their individual likes.

I’ll have photos when its done in case other families want to try this too.

Michael’s other favourite pastime is looking at photos and postcards of places that he has visited and for someone to sit and talk about them with him.

He is getting good day care and we are very proud of him. He has grown into a fine young man with lots of friends and people who love him despite his problems.

Best wishes to everyone
Anne Wilde

Reaching Out newsletter
April 2001