My stage career was fairly short-lived but was certainly eventful. The pinnacle involved me playing a Herald. This Herald had to repeatedly run through the audience at various times shouting a range of commands. However on one occasion I fell up the stairs and did a barrel-roll across the stage. At least I got a laugh…
In my job I often have to ‘act’ and take on various personas. I often have to ‘act’ when I am talking to Joe. 
Due to our close relationship and my experience as a Special Needs Teacher, sometimes I have to help Joe with his behaviour. This week I was a very disappointed friend as Joe’s behaviour had let him down. To see Joe sad is always very uncomfortable but you have to take my word for it that it was required on this occasion. 
It can be incredibly difficult to discuss Joe’s behaviour with him. Joe is unable to give any details that might have occurred in a given situation. Therefore we have to rely on communication in his Home-School Book for events that have happened at school. At times Joe will provide details that obviously did not occur simply because he feels we want to hear them. This is reflective of Joe’s ‘eager to please’ personality. 
When I have difficult conversations with Joe it is important to focus on Joe’s behaviour and not Joe himself. Joe has repetitive thoughts and he cannot control this. It is an upsetting thought that there are people that believe that a child like Joe is able to control their thoughts when over-stimulated. Joe cannot control those thoughts and he requires support to de-escalate his emotions.  
 My favourite bit of the evening was when we ‘made-up’. There were lots of tears and plenty of hugs which reminded me how strong our bond must be. 
Joe is staying with us this weekend and he took great pride in telling me how great his day was at school. As ever it was quite a challenge for Joe to communicate this. It always amazes me how calm Joe is considering he struggles to get his point across. This evening we have spent a serious amount of time looking for a tracksuit jumper that I used to wear. I wouldn’t have minded but Joe only wanted the top for less than a minute and seemed to only want to smell it. 
I would love to know what goes through Joe’s mind. I would literally give anything. This evening Joe produced a fluorescent jacket with a building company’s name on the back. Joe said he got this from school. I would like to thank that person (if there was one) for giving Joe that jacket. This person gave me something I always cherish, Joe’s wonderful smile that encompasses his whole face. 
Hopefully somebody is not missing their fluorescent jacket thanks to a crafty ten year old boy. 


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