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Letting go - Carers UK Forum

Letting go

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Since September my lad, now 16, has been experiencing the delights of independent travel, by public bus, to his college in a town five miles away.
This has been a goal for years, getting to Primary school in a nearby village he travelled by taxi on account of his learning disability, then we finally managed to get him on the main school bus, which picked him up from our front door, then coming home did a detour to drop him back on our side of the road. I've had to push all the way for the most independent option, far from us wrapping him in cotton wool it is the State that is risk averse and wants to opt for "special" i.e. protective modes of transport.
The bus stop he uses now is about 1000 yards away down a main road in the centre of our small town, so I normally drop him off there in the morning by car. The fun part is in the evening, when he comes home from college. He has to get from his college through a busy shopping centre to the depot, then get on the right bus, and then get off at the right stop, and either phone me on his mobile for a lift, or walk back himself, which includes a busy road crossing with pedestrian-controlled lights.
Tonight it was wet and cold and dark, and whilst he is fine normally to walk home, I waited for the call ... it didnt come. I drove down to find him anyway, and sure enough, he was already half-way home, a small figure dodging the puddles, bareheaded and very wet from the rain and the spray.
"Why didn't you phone me?" I said as I opened the car door.
"Sorry dad" he replied. "Forgot to charge my phone last night!"
Am I proud of him? You better believe I am! Forty years ago children with Downs Syndrome were considered "ineducable!"
Wow, what a guy your son is Image Image Image

No wonder you're bursting with pride Image Image Image
Great news to share Rob and a moment you and L will treasure.
Don't just be proud of your son Rob - be proud of yourself too - without your encouragement he wouldn't have got this far Image
That is fantastic Rob, you and Mrs Exc must be so proud of him.
He's a scamp actually... but he made me a lovely mug of tea this morning, and right now he's unloading the dishwasher. Tomorrow he has a swimming lesson (he's been promoted two grades to Intermediate and can now swim a width unaided), and on Sunday we are off ski-ing again.
I don't think there is anything he can't do once he sets his mind to it, it just is a lot more effort to get there: most kids learn to ski in five lessons, whilst he might take fifty, same for swimming. He still cant ride a bike, but loves the tandem. But in some ways that means I'm still getting a huge buzz with all the one-to-one involvement, everything has compensations. I cant imagine many fathers are this close to their sons.
Your son will treasure all the memories you have made together.
As you say, not many father's and son's are so close.
You're both lucky to have each other.
That is really good news Rob, and well done to you, i detect a special bond between father and son, lovely to hear of success. Image
You should not only be proud of your son, but proud of yourselves Image
A lot of hard work has gone into your son being enabled to make such fantastic progress Image
What a guy! Nice one - there is great dignity in taking risks and great rewards Image Image Image Image