Now that the happiness has settled in about Brandon’s immediate future, some new anxiety is creeping in. Our village is changing.
He has been in school for so long. I know those people. I trust his teachers and therapists, and paras. Brandon is comfortable with them. He is well liked and I always hear how sweet he is. And he is!
I believe his school village trusts me, too. They know I like to hear the good stuff. They also know I need to hear some of the more challenging stuff. I trust they also have Brandon’s best interests at heart.
Now, Brandon is entering his adulthood with different people around him. People I don’t know. While I have met all the folks who will be working with Brandon, I don’t know them. To be fair, they don’t know me, either.
How do I help build this much needed trust? What does my part in this look like?
I will be patient and respectful. I will be honest and I will listen. There will be lots of questions about Brandon. Why is he jumping, why is he not eating, why is he sniffing everybody?
There will be questions about his communication style. I will tell them that, yes, we must ask him if he had a nice time after every activity. I will also let them know that occasionally he wants us to ask if he had a fun time instead of a nice time.
I will tell them that when he is rubbing his hands together and jumping in his chair that he is either anxious or excited. I will tell them that, yes, that is heavy metal music he is listening to mixed in with the Christmas songs. (I blame Steve and Josh for Brandon’s love of heavy metal)
I also want them to know it will take time. I am excited for them to get to know Brandon and for him to get to know them. He will let himself be known and it will take time.
I want the newest members of our village to know they can ask me anything. I want them to understand that I know my son’s limitations. And that I will work with them through those limitations.
It will take time to build the trust between us. But, I do have a basic trust before we even start. Each time I have visited, I have seen folks with disabilities laughing and having fun. I saw folks playing computer games and others making shopping lists. I talked with one young man who was excited about the upcoming pizza party. Puzzles and arts and crafts were being done.
They were busy and they were happy.
Now it’s time to start to building this new relationship. I am looking forward to it. I think Brandon is, too.