Maintaining a Jude

So how many people does it take to maintain a Jude? 


This evening I was thinking of all the people we have in Jude’s “team” right now and I took a moment of pride in realising that everyone involved in Jude’s life is totally awesome. I felt awful driving Jude back to school last night, knowing I won’t see him for a fortnight so I need to reflect on the good in order to correct my thought pattern.

The weekend went so quickly and I’m not sure how much of all this Jude yet understands so naturally being me, I start to feel like an awful mum again. But then I remember the excitement on his face as we neared his school ( he refers to the residential part as “the house” and our house always as “home”.) It’s amazing the distinction he makes between the house and the actual school seeing as they are strictly speaking the same place. I guess staffing and activities are different but I’m still stunned that he can’t see a real connection between the two! If I slip up and ask him something about school then he immediately corrects my wording.


Anyway, so I was feeling bad about the whole thing but when I phoned the house to ask if someone could come and open the gate for us, he burst out with excitement “who is it? Who’s there?!”  The grin on his face was huge and he was literally flapping his arms with anticipation.


Amazingly, it was two of Jude’s favourite support workers on duty. They’d saved him some dinner (his second dinner!) and one of them had made a yummy pudding for everyone. We brought the support workers a box of chocolates and he happily handed them over, no doubt hoping for one himself later on. We also took Jude a treat box full of nice snacks and photos so hopefully all of this will remind him of home a little. What I’m waffling on about is all meant to highlight the fact that Jude left my care happy, relaxed and at ease back at his house.


Anyway, the point of this post…

Jude’s crew.


So we have the amazing Faye! Faye helps me with Jude at home sometimes during the holidays. She’s a dream support worker and Jude asks about her all the time. She cares about him, tolerates his irrationalities and presents to Jude as an amazing role model. We love Faye very much. She’s the sort of person I want to be.


At the house, we have a whole host of fantastic support staff. Typically, there is three on duty at each time so one for each child in the house. As is natural, Jude has his favourites. And similarly, they do too. One lady in particular is a real gem in Jude’s eyes and the feeling is most definitely mutual. Talking on the phone to her, you can hear the joy she experiences working with Jude and it really helps put my mind at ease. I’m actually going to try and interview her for my blog as she really is special.

The senior support staff are fantastic too. One lady is sadly leaving this Thursday and it’s going to be tough explaining to Jude that he won’t see her any more as she is one of the people he asks about most regularly. She was the first to come and visit Jude at home way back in the summer as a form of suitability assessment and her immediate reaction was “can he come with us now.” I’ve also felt she’s on my side and I’m genuinely really sad she’s leaving. I’m going to take up a present for her on Thursday but I’m not sure what yet.


Jude’s teacher! Every week she emails me to update on how Jude has been and it’s wonderful to read her thoughts. She puts a positive spin on everything, words it tactically and proactive when Jude’s been a bit of a nightmare and is always look for ways of making Jude happy 🙂


Jude’s Learning Support Assistant. Another special person in his life. When he asks if he’s at school the next day, he always enquires as to whether he’ll be seeing this individual. It’s so lovely.


The school coordinator and the initial contact I had at Jude’s school. She was pivotal in my decision to send Jude to this setting; through her warm and friendly nature, I realised that this was the place for us. Even now, I know I can call her if I need anything or even if I just need to vent my usual anxieties.


Therapy staff – the latest is music therapy! Jude was given music therapy as a toddler and adored each session. He loves music, hummed before he could talk and can sing along to most chart songs on the radio! It’s pretty funny. That boy has beats.


The school nurse at Jude’s school is like an angel in disguise. She is so caring, not just of Jude’s needs but mine as well. As I mentioned before, following our hideous visit to the GP’s a couple of weeks ago, she called and emailed me to make sure I was ok. She emailed again today to find out how I feel Jude’s eczema is healing and again, offered her ear for whenever I feel I need to talk. She’s a beaut.


I’m actually drawing a blank right now but I think these are the people who typically look after Jude every day. It’s quite a few, isn’t it?  All people I’m eternally grateful to.


Pictures from the weekend.

Jude and his littlest sister. She asked him to read her a book, she chose a sticker book (good choice) so he chose the pages and Emmeline peeled stickers! So cute.


Jude didn’t want to eat lunch with everyone at my parents house. He sat really awkwardly on the floor and watched Horrid Henry with his cooked breakfast! Home made hash browns and everything #favouritegrandchild.



You can’t see it well in this photo but Jude’s eczema has flared up and in particular he’s really sore around his eyes. Thankfully, his school nurse doesn’t think I’m a nut job when I say I’d rather not use harsh medicines on his skin and so we are using emollients and trying to alter his environment so we can work out the cause. So far, less baths and a softer washing powder is calming it a huge amount.


A x

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