News 09 Jun 2020

Being a Carer in Broughty Ferry

Below is a short article sent in by one of the carers we support on her caring role and what it’s like to be a carer in Broughty Ferry

Being a carer has been a tremendous honour and privilege.

My son needed a lot of support and guidance from an early age. I noticed his autism and learning difficulties at approximately age 2. I only recognised that I was a carer around his age of 6-7 years.

Sam’s mental developmental pattern was totally different to his peer group. Thankfully he grew strong and healthy. He even became the tallest boy at Kingspark school, Dundee.

Sam carries classic autism and learning difficulties. Who cares!  He grew into a kind and sensitive young man with amazing attention to order and detail.  He wasn’t disruptive. He really needed a calm and ordered environment.  Without this kind of  structure he would have crumbled.
In fact I needed it too.

I committed myself with my husband to be Sam’s main support.

Over the years we enjoyed working with social work, Barnardos, Crossroads and Cornerstone and The Inclusion Group.  Probably around Sam’s 10th birthday I finally accepted that I wasn’t going to defeat autism.  Well come on – Mum’s tackle most things!

I took stock and decided that Sam was going to be involved in his community as much as possible…gym time swimming tennis and cycling. He particularly enjoyed whaling around on Broughty Ferry Beach.

I did become a little down that the classic scenario of children knocking/ calling for him did not happen, nevertheless I had some pals who included Sam. We like Dundee.

Our extended family is England and it was difficult for them to come up due to age etc,

As far as I am concerned Sam is top notch. The public attitude to Sam varied from kindness to be thrown out of restaurants due to his unusual sounds when tired.

With hindsight I wish we had gone for more picnics.

When I arrived in Scotland 22 years ago I knew noone bar my husband. Sam has introduced us to all of Tayside’s delights.

Now Sam has moved away to Camphill I feel happy and sad. We are very grateful to Dundee council that Sam has a new home. Sam has done so well.  I feel that this has been the biggest lifetime event excluding birth that I have experienced.

Sam Has a new challenge of epilepsy which we all share with him.  I did not see this coming.  Calm and humour is the only way.

So, I cared for Sam until he was 19 years old. Now I am a part time carer.

Nothing matches it.