Joshua moved into Stoneywood House at the age of 18 years and 9 months. He had settled well into his senior year at school which provided time to work out what would be the best next step, and to look seriously at finding the perfect place for him to go and live. It was clear that if Josh continued to live at home he would have become isolated after all his years of interaction at school. The search was begun in earnest.
Initial thoughts were that Josh needed to go somewhere autism-specific, but it soon became apparent that this would not be the case – as long as there were staff on hand who had experience with autism. I asked about Stoneywood House and we arranged to pay a visit, but didn’t really know if Josh would meet the criteria for living there.
The first time I walked in, it just felt right. There was a warmth and friendliness about it. It was big enough for there to be plenty going on, but small enough to have a family feel – it was clear that everybody was comfortable and content. It was a perfect first impression.
When we took Josh to Stoneywood House for a visit he just marched straight in and pretty much made himself at home. Adding this to my own first impressions, I knew we would never find anywhere as perfect as this. If Josh had to go and live outwith the family home, this was the place.
Things started moving well, in no small measure thanks to the staff, who worked with us to make sure the transition continued to go smoothly for Josh (and ourselves).
On the day he actually moved in to Stoneywood, the staff were brilliant. They knew it was a big deal for us and were as much concerned for us as they were for Josh. It was incredible to think it was the end of this massive chapter in Josh’s life… and the beginning of a brand new one.
It has now been over a year since Josh moved to Stoneywood. Was this the right move? Undoubtedly so. I would wholeheartedly recommend Stoneywood House to anyone who considers it may be suitable for their family member.
Our impression of Stoneywood is that of a big extended family for Josh and we will always be grateful for the seamless way he was welcomed into it.