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Steven Neary & Sting

October 20, 2014

Two Christmas Play stories. I find them really distressing to write but they do end with a Steven, Monday joke.

Yesterday evening, Steven dug out an old video from his schooldays. This one was from 1997 (so, he would have been 7) and that Christmas, the school put on “Children’s TV Favourites” for its Christmas Show. Steven’s class did Bananas In Pyjamas and Steven was over the moon to get one of the main parts – B2. Steven was loving watching it back, giving a running commentary to his support worker on who all the main players were. I found it too upsetting to watch and slinked off to the kitchen and protected myself by cleaning the kitchen cupboards. What was so distressing for me was how the 17 years since have treated the class of 97. Over half of them are either dead, trapped in ATUs, stuck in so-called independent living flats, or in residential accommodation hundreds of miles from their families. All that innocent joy as a class of bananas sang their hearts out to “we’re coming down the stairs” has been stolen by the stinking, dis-interested world of adult social care. Those kids deserved SO much better from the world.

On to today. Steven’s history with Sting goes back to the 1999. That year the school put on “Millennium Here we Come” and Steven’s class did the moon landing.They entered the stage to “Walking On The Moon”, so Steven became interested in The Police. In the programme for the production, Steven is listed as “Neil Armstrong” but ask him and he said: “Steven Neary’s playing Sting”.

This morning Steven turned up at the Arts centre for his morning music session. Yesterday, we did a compilation tape for him to play back today. We have been working through the alphabet and have reached artists beginning with P (The Pet Shop Boys, Puff Daddy, Peters & Lee). The first track was “Every Breath You Take”

Steven: Dad – Sting’s playing a ……?

Me: It’s a double bass Steve.

Steven: A Bass! Like a pizza base.

He found this idea hysterically funny – “Sting. Don’t get pepperoni on your double bass. You’ll make your fingers all saucy”

Thank goodness he has got support workers who are as caring and interested as those staff in Bananas in Pyjamas. I know, that whilst I’m away later, if Steven starts to get anxious or worked up, one of them will say: “Steve – tell us your Monday joke about Sting” and everything will be all right.


From → Social Care

  1. anonymous permalink

    Dear Mark,

    You are an amazing Father.

    It has just occurred to me that the solution to your fears once you are no longer around to safeguard Steven against bad practice would be to find a family who would get to know Steven and to have them adopt him. As like the couple from the Bournewood Gap case.

    I hope this is not a daft idea?

    Also another concern is that they are certainly bringing Mental Health to the 21st Century aren’t they? by building so called state of the art buildings in rural area’s, all that money yet no extra time for you….What a stinker….

  2. Shirley Buckley permalink

    What an abolutely lovely idea. Is it possible???????????? Are there people out there willing to do it. My son is very worried about when I die and he has no family left – he has said he will need a new family. Even if they took our sons and daughters on, could they deal with the LA. Would the Bournewood gap couple (my greatest admiration) be willing to help, ?

  3. Sally permalink

    We have sometimes considered adopting/fostering a disabled child or young person, having one already, we’d be happy to accept the person as they are and do our best to give them a happy family life, But! Also, having one already and being in the know, we couldn’t cope with new wranglings with disabled services/LSA etc etc. That’s what’s so sad. Most of the anguish about having a disabled family member is not to do with how their disability affects them and the extra care they need. The anguish comes from the battle with services.

  4. anonymous permalink

    Oh gosh ladies yes this is true. Lets hope that change happens and we get the respect that we deserve and listened too. Rather than spend all that money going Viral surely they should spend it on how to learn from families….

  5. Karen permalink

    I think this comes under the Shared Lives schemes which run with varying degrees of success in different parts of the country. A family adopt an adult with LD who lives with them and share their lives….could be great but not sure what protection there would be? Has anyone looked into L’Arche communities? The organisation was founded by Jean Vanier inviting three men with LD to share his home…as equals. Those principals remain at the core of it.

  6. Shirley Buckley permalink

    Karen yes I know a bit about L’Arche and am suspicious of the powers they hold as you say what protection? Sally you are right – anyone taking onthe LA would put their whole family at risk and their sanity. But it is interesting looking at these possibilities.

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