There has been a story in the local news this week that caught my attention. A 7 year old Autistic boy wandered away from home. He just opened the door and walked out without anyone noticing. His parents never heard him come up from playing in the basement. The never heard him slip out the door.
His body was found in a pond yesterday, just a short way from his home.
These special children are known to wander. The problem is, it's unpredictable. You always think, my kids don't wander, I don't have to worry about it, and then they slip out the door.
The Littlest Mr. did it early last year. He had just turned 4. I was in another room when I suddenly realized I didn't hear him. I could hear his brother, but not him. I called him all around the house. He did not answer. I went outside after locking The Little Mr. inside. I made my way to the corner, calling him, fighting that feeling of panic.
He did finally wander back. He had gone part way down the road to look for friends to play with. I don't know what made him turn around and return. He could just as easily continued on down the road.
This news story could have been mine.
Autistics are interesting. Even mine, the so called recovered. You never really know what they know or don't know. You never really see how their minds work. You never, ever really see the world through their eyes.
As well adjusted adults we often find the world a difficult place to navigate and survive. I can't imagine what the world looks like to these kids. I can only hope that I will teach them enough skills to survive it.