Day 23: Photo

I was fiddling at my desk this afternoon, preparing to teach a session for the second time and wondering whether to switch round the activities. I wasn’t happy with the way it had worked earlier but couldn’t be sure whether that was due to the fire drill or my planning. I was feeling a bit flat and in need of a lift. As an email pinged into my inbox I glanced up, automatically.

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I love it when Dylan’s care home manager emails me instant updates about his day. A friend told me this is something that happens on social media: people tweet ‘what I’m doing now’. That sounds like the sort of thing I wouldn’t have understood previously. I can see the value in it now though; these snapshots of Dylan not only reassure me he is happy, they help me to feel part of his life.

Today’s photo was taken at a farm which Dylan visited this morning. He’s often anxious about touching animals so I know that Dylan’s being brave here. I can tell from the photo that he is feeling relaxed though too. Photos don’t give us the whole picture, I know, but they can reassure us about some things.  I can see, for example, that Dylan is wearing his heavier coat which shows me staff are helping Dylan to dress appropriately for the weather (which was colder today). That’s a small detail I wouldn’t have got from Dylan’s daily care record but one which reassures me he is being well looked after.

Photos can be illuminating too. I notice, for example, that Dylan is carrying his sports shoulder bag. I have wondered, recently, why Dylan seems to have stopped using the Nike backpack he used to carry everywhere and seeing the photo reminds me to ask care staff about this.

I love receiving these updates. Care homes are busy places and I really appreciate that staff make time to send me such photos in addition to the regular updates I get about Dylan. When I receive one, as I did today, I remind myself that I’m lucky.

5 thoughts on “Day 23: Photo

  1. Lovely piece, Liz. Thank you. I have written a reply to yours over ‘chez Caroline.’ As part of this reply, I wound up trying to say why I like these particular posts so much. But I promise in future, to reply directly to you when I read your posts. Sorry for crossing wires a bit. All best.

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  2. I don’t know if you’re familiar with snapchat. It’s an app that allows users to take a picture or short video of yourself or something else and write or draw on it and then target who among your friends can receive it and then you send it and it is gone from your end. Once viewed it’s gone on the receiving end too, unless they quickly do a screenshot. My D doesn’t like the app and won’t use it but N, L, & S do. I LOVE getting snapchats from them throughout the day as they are usually funny. But, you are no different from any mother who doesn’t see one of their children daily… looking for clues as to how they’re doing in what you see. And by the way, I love this picture of Dylan, especially hearing he’s doing something that requires bravery for him. It’s a good sign. He seems to be doing well, Liz!

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    • I have heard of it! In connection with safeguarding I think – that because it disappears afterwards, it leaves no footprint and is safe(r) than other social media (for young people). When I mentioned to a friend about the photos I get from Dylan’s care home she commented that it was a bit like such platforms. I suppose the way I receive photos is the safest possible, into my inbox. I think I’m with your D on this one – I’d probably hate it. Yes, looking for clues – that is it! Glad you liked the picture of Dilly – I had another lovely one today of Dylan at a cafe with one of the other residents – such a happy face. Yes, he is doing well – he seems really happy. What a lucky young man he has turned out to be 🙂

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  3. Pingback: Day 68: Context | Living with(out) Autism

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