Monday, April 30, 2012

My Worst Fear........

I know all parents would be deathly afraid of this happening, but for some reason I never have worried about it as much with Michael. He is 'NeuroTypical', and would understand the dangers of water, and probably be afraid of getting into trouble about getting wet. Nick, it is a different story. Nick escaped the house numerous times last summer. One time we did not even know he was gone until a neighbor brought him home! When he does escape, he cannot answer questions about who he is or where he lives. He won't budge if you call his name. He won't listen to it being called and then think "They are looking for me, I better go home now". That is the part of his autism that can indeed become FATAL. Nick loves water. He ran into a lake when he was three; luckily I caught him just as he went underwater. I was only 10 feet away, and he was still hard to catch. He has run across the street to get to a gas tank on a minivan. One of our qualifications for his therapists was that they had to be able to sprint after him! I know another autistic boy who also liked to elope from his house-and they did have to get the police involved to search the neighborhood. Mike and I also got involved because we knew the little boy and his family, and KNEW how it felt to have your child lost. My heart goes out to this family. And to those of you out there who are so vehemently against child harnesses, you might want to re-think that view if your child is autistic. We have two for Nick, and have used them at times. It is not bad parenting, it is safety.

And this is why the first question I ask when I get home and don't immediately see Nick is : Where's Nick?
This is the last day of Autism Awareness month. I hope you have become better educated on this neurological disorder. Do not judge the next time you are out in a store and see a child having a tantrum, wearing a harness, speaking gibberish, walking on tip toes, screaming at the escalator, eating only french fries, and/or crying and hitting himself or his parents. Don't judge his parents harshly. They are probably just trying to hold it together to the end of the day. Don't stare and point, and for Godsakes do NOT give unwanted, 'helpful' advice if you know nothing of the situation. It's not like we go around announcing to everyone that our kid has autism or put a sign on him. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Pray for this family in their time of need.

Body of autistic child found in Fort Gordon lake

Seven-year-old had compulsion to touch water when distressed, officials say

Posted: April 30, 2012 - 9:33am

FORT GORDON, GA. | Authorities say they found the body of a 7-year-old girl at the bottom of a lake after she wandered from her home on a south Georgia military base.
The Augusta Chronicle reports that Hannah Ross left her house around 6:40 p.m. Saturday, touching off a search that involved more than 100 volunteers at Fort Gordon.
Relatives say Hannah was autistic and had left home upset. Fort Gordon public affairs spokesman Buz Yarnell says that whenever Hannah was distressed, she had to touch water, which is believed to have led to her death.
Hannah's body was recovered Sunday afternoon by a dive team at the bottom of Soil Erosion Lake behind her home on the Army base.
Yarnell said the child's family had just moved to Fort Gordon from California.