Another post that turned into a bit (??!!) of a ramble I am afraid
Originally Posted by kevingy
The faculty and staff are amazing. He has made so much progress in the last two years after being transferred in from another school.
I can't help with your specific query (I had to Google
)....and of course no 2 circumstances are exactly (or even anywhere near!) the same, but on the basis that folk with special needs on boats is perhaps not so common I thought I would chip in.......
My (late) elder Brother (Dennis. AKA "Gunga Din"
) also had "special needs". Not Downs, in this part of the world the term Mentally Handicapped covered the stuff with no specific names covering a wide range of abilities and which evolved into "Learning Difficulties", via a few other phrases. Could read (slowly) and write (badly) and catch a bus on his own, but although he loved plane spotting he would never be flying a Jumbo Jet - unless he had joined Al-Qaeda
I have been chatting to my father a lot more in recent times about Gunga Din and times passed, especially the decisions he had to make over the years and how although he was always trying to do the best for my brother it didn't make them easy. The Schooling was one of those where my Father still second guesses himself even though he believes he did the right thing for the right reasons and even now cannot think of better choices........
......but whatever, both
my Brother and me grew up messing around with boats. In later years I had to go to work
But my Father and my Brother continued with the messing around with boats stuff
Moving from a classic 1950's sportsboat in the late 1960's to a motorsailer
and then onto a Motorboat proper from the mid 1990's. No world cruising for them but used to spend extended holidays aboard in nearby France
(both the coast and the inland waterways - including up to Paris
) for periods from a few days (it's only 15 miles away from here
) to many months. and in their circuit they were well known. and well liked. Gunga Din got a good turnout for his Funeral.......
Although my experiance of folk with Downs is not extensive, my limited experiance leads me to beleive that my Brother may have shared some important things - an absence of guile. and a genuine like of people. especially those who took the time to be interested in him or better still simply treat him as Dennis. Indeed I think many people were puzzled at their reaction to Dennis and why he made them feel good - a lack of Guile and a like of people will do that
(me? I don't have that problem
Apart from Gunga Din being useful crew and not just a passenger (a matter of matching tasks to talents - and IMO important in life for everyone
to feel valued and that they are contributing) he was much of the reason for my Father making so many voyages. Never a burden, simply a part of the Family
- easy for me to say of course. But not always so (especially in the early years in the early 1960's) for my Father nor for you in more recent times I suspect.
Of course in recent years they did a lot more by Motorhome accross Europe
- but still kept the boat going
What my Brother got out of the Boat was both adding more purpose to life, an interest in the boat itself, new adventures, sights and people. and seeing the same people again on "his" circuit
But more importantly it provided him with a sense of security
from being a full member
of the family
doing everything that the family did, including contributing to the pot. The sense of security
was important to Dennis as he was aware that he had learning
difficulties, and from other people in the same boat (to varying degrees) he was well aware that some folk in his position were simply walked away from. He was Mentally Handicapped / had Learning
Difficulties not an idiot on stuff like that
Every story needs a bit of irony - a couple of months before Gunga Din died my father bought him a cottage in a sheltered housing complex for both of them to share with a view to my Brother living alone (with appropriate proffessional support - whether live in or not) after Father popped his clogs. They never moved in - but Gunga Din was very happy that his future was sorted........Now for a funny
Father (aged 75) thought he would try living in the Cottage. Now moving out as:- "The place is full of old people and they keep f#ckin' dying"