Friday, 4 April 2014

Story Twenty - Lavender

The Unit grew a whole list of "behaviours" they deemed "inappropriate" and needed stamping out.

One that I had a big problem with was over Steven smelling hair. He only ever does it with two people - me and his long term support worker.

Ever since Steven was tiny, he greets me with a handshake and then smells and kisses my head. It has always felt to me to be a genuine show of affection. A moment of intimacy. Is that wrong? Is it inappropriate?

The same with Chris, his support worker. I remember how it started with Chris. Steven had been doing "smells" at school and got very excited one day that Chris's shampoo smelt of lavender - one of the smells he had learned at school that day. Ever since, Steven greets Chris with a quick sniff and says "lavender".

Like most things at the Unit, Steven was passed through a judgemental filter - an appropriateness panel. And the outcome can only be one thing when a group of people exercise such power - Steven would have to stop doing something that was important to him.

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