Respite Exclusion Explained

3 minute read

A lot of questions have come from the last post about Tam being excluded from respite. So, with the saying of “there are 3 sides to every story” I will explain the situation so that other people can learn from the situation.


Tam loves school. He gets anxious about not going to school. We stay well away from the location of his school when he is on holiday so he does not get confused. He really loves the schedule of school and gets a lot from the interactions with people he has developed relationships with. Tam loves school. Did I say Tam loves school.

Tam is noise sensitive. He’s not sensitive to the noise he creates, but can be very sensitive to noise. If someone is in distress then it can affect Tam to the point he will lash out. It is something I am very aware of and have to take care with.

The respite centre has know Tam for a few years now. I have provided plenty of information on Tam and his changes over this period of time and his visits have all had positive feedback. I have even provided a couple of manuals about Tam and his quirks.


Tam was on a bus on his way to somewhere. That somewhere was to the accident and emergency department with a child who had a head injury. Did the journey start off that way? I don’t care, if the injury happened during the journey or was the reason for the journey he should not have been on the bus.

I would put good money on the fact the atmosphere on the bus would have been tense, busy and noisy. A lot of attention would have been on the injured child.

The bus went along a road that Tam knows well. A road that is used to get to and from his school. The bus turned the wrong way and away from his school. A place he loves.

Tam is very aware of language and listens and hears very well. I have to be careful of the things I say around him. He understands the words “Hospital, A&E and RVI”. These words are triggers to Tam as they are the last place he saw his Mammy. Understand that they can spark a reaction very easily. Thats were the bus he found himself on was going.

So Tam is on a bus and expecting to go to the park or beach. Instead it is a noisy bus, with loads on anxiety around him, it turns away from school with no explanation. People around him are talking about hospital.

Not one trigger point, but an overload of trigger points. So what did Tam do. He did not want to go to the hospital, he wanted to get away from the noise and his school was just around the corner. In his head he wanted off the bus and to go to somewhere good.

When he was stopped in a panic he lashed out. A person was hurt. The police were called and Tam was restrained.

It took six more months to hear from Bedeburn that Tam was no longer allowed to go to respite for overnights stays. Six months. The reason (reading between the lines) is that the staff are scared of Tam.

How do I feel? I feel like they did not care for Tam in this situation and he was setup to fail. I think the staff have decided that all of the positive visits amount to nothing even though they set him up to fail. They have put me and Tam into a difficult position for the last six months and thankfully we have not failed. We very nearly could have.

All of the positivity of the respite centre has now drained away and what is left is a what feels like a waste of time and effort getting Tam to accept the place and staff. I have got to the place where I will not deal with the centre to discuss what happened. I don’t need their help moving on.

I only hope that the staff have the sense not to approach Tam and me and ask how we are, or how we are doing. I will not be polite.



Dad and Broken Human. (click the envelope to reach out)