In an attempt to get out of this black hole that depression and anxiety have sucked me into right now, I thought I would do a post about the child I take out for respite once a week.
Dominic is 12 years old. He has ASD and ADHD. I first met Dominic in June 2011. At the time, he was living mainly with his Mum but also spent time at his Dad’s. Dominic was 8 years old and his behaviour was becoming increasingly more difficult for his Mum to manage. As a result, it was decided that Dominic would live with his Dad for the majority of the time. This was not an easy decision for his parents to make. Through social care Dominic’s family were given direct payment hours and this is where I became involved.
I can remember going round to meet Dominic and his family along with his social worker. Dominic was this little ball of energy who bombarded me with lots of questions.
Dominic has come on so much in nearly four years. He is now able to order food in certain restaurants/fast food places, use a knife and fork and share his thoughts and feelings with me. Dominic has overcome some major fears including fireworks and dogs.
Here are my ten favourite things about Dominic:
- Special interests – there have been a number of these over the past four years – Mr Men and Little Miss, space, fish, Toy Story, languages, birthdays, theme parks, water parks, Mr Bean and Horrid Henry. It still astounds me how much Dominic knows about the things he likes. For instance, during his Toy Story phase Dominic had a spell where he was teaching himself how to count, say hello and goodbye etc in a number of languages. He then started watching the Toy Story films in Spanish to help learn more Spanish!!! The pleasure and enjoyment he gets from his interests is amazing to see.
- Honesty – Dominic says it like it is due to having autism. I always know where I stand with him. When Dominic says he looks forward to seeing me or he has had a good time, I know he means it.
- Memory – Dominic has a fantastic ability to remember dates, birthdays and things that have happened. He can remember whole conversations from years ago!
- He doesn’t judge people – Dominic doesn’t judge people based on what they look like or the clothes they wear. He likes people based on whether they are a nice to him.
- He is a positive person – Dominic finds the best in everything and everyone. He can always find something to smile or laugh about. He frequently tells me that if something is annoying him on school he will think about seeing me to help him feel better
- He is a thrill seeker – the opposite of me! Dominic loves going really high on swings in the park, rollercoasters and bouncing high on his trampoline.
- He is caring – Dominic speaks highly of his friends from school. He helps them if they are upset or hurt themselves.
- He loves meeting people – Dominic came to our wedding and was more than happy being around dozens of our friends and family. He likes nothing better then seeing Dave or my immediate family.
- Sense of humour – Over the years Dominic has developed a wicked sense of humour. He initiates jokes more often now.
- He is inquisitive – Dominic will ask questions about anything and everything. He loves finding out things. Currently, he loves finding out how tall people are!
I could list so many more things that make Dominic such an amazing person. He leaves such an impact on others when they meet him. His remarkable personality really draws people to him. My family and friends frequently ask about Dominic and truly care about him.
I am so protective of Dominic. I worry about him becoming a teenager (which will be later this year!) and eventually an adult. Every so often, Dominic will ask how long me and him will go out. I really hope that I will always be a part of his life. I am so proud of how far he has come in the four years I have known him.