Last week the Autism Blogger Community came together to support the families of Mikaela, Owen and Drew. With the deaths of these children it brought to light the huge issue, we parents(especially Special Needs parents) have to deal with "Elopement" or "Wandering". It was called upon the Nation to bring awareness to the issue. With so many children out there with autism or other developmental disorders out there, there needs to be more done. Its easy to blame the parents. But when the parent does all they can to prevent elopement and it still happens, why is that called bad parenting?
This weekend, a very real nightmare for me became my reality. My youngest son got out of the house, wandered across a very busy street in our neighbourhood and was found by a group of young men that happened to be driving by and saw this toddler. Within the five minutes it took me to tear the house apart, that is what he managed to do. He figured out the door, which I have locked up,and child locks as well,he took the opportunity of me being in the kitchen and walked out. Now we had company visiting who might have forgot to lock the door, I don't know. But I was lucky. He was lucky. I would like to think he had force looking out for him yesterday. I just kept thinking that people must think I am the worst parent. How could I not know where my children are at all times?
Calming my nerves, I reminded myself that I am not a bad parent. That I do everything in my power to ensure the safety of my children. Sometimes I am little over protective about it. I know that I am but one person doing this whole parenting thing by myself. I know that my spectrum children are wanderers. This will be the fourth time, despite me doing everything I can, that one of my spectrum children have wandered. Thankfully one of them has grown out of it and has attachment issues.I am very thankful that this weekend, my son had something watching over him. I am very thankful for the the group of young men that stopped had guarded my son on the grassy knoll, until they figured out what to do with him. I am very thankful that I was able to put my son to bed last night, and breathe a sigh of relief, as I know there are parents out there have not been able to do that.
This weekend sucked for me. As I try to move past this, again I will learn from this. People who come to visit, will have to understand and follow the system that works for me. I live this life every single day of my life. I know what these children are capable of. If I have to put a sign on my door to remind people to make sure its closed and locked, I will. I don't expect people to understand. You can't understand something you haven't had to experience. But you can respect the reason why somethings are done a certain way. It may be silly to you. But its serious to me and my children.
It sucks when a nightmare because a reality.