Friday, June 22, 2007
Out our own front door...(Journal#75)
...is the neighboring suburb of Blaine, where yesterday afternoon, yet another autistic child was found dead. Five year old Kaylie Dickerson wandered out of her home without her family knowing it and wandered across the street into a pond. As the autism community in this area just mourns the loss of another autistic child who wandered away last week and died, in which area people here even volunteered in those search efforts in neighboring Wisconsin, yet the tragedy happens again. While we did not know them personally, goose bumps and heartache for the family is what I feel.
According to news reports yesterday and today, even Kaylie's family had all the necessary things in place to make sure she would not wander away, according to police.
~I am guessing that they too, like us, have a security system that also alerts you when someone is coming or going when the system is off.
~I am guessing that they too have a visual PEC system card near the door, that visually tells the child to stop before going outside and ask an adult.
~I am guessing that they too have a fenced in yard.
~I am guessing that they too have some type of indoor sound/video system to monitor their child in the house when they are not in the same room.
~I am NOT guessing, because I KNOW that we are all a part of the same local autism community, I know that our children are both 5, I know that our hearts ache for them.
Out our own front door is a lake. That has always been a concern. But geesh, in the land of 10,000 lakes, that is a little hard to avoid. Out our own front door, is a reminder that we should not let our guards down as we have a little this year. Up until this summer, anytime I am outside with Sam, I would hold him by his wrist (tightly) because he would not hold my hand. We had to always do this because he did not understand safety and would dart in to traffic and always away from us like a toddler would do. I know people thought it was ridiculous that we always had such a grip on him, but he was unlike our oldest, who understood by 2 years old what danger was. When I say we have let our guard down this summer, it is because Sam seems to understand a little better his boundaries and rules at home lately. He still goes out of the house without asking, but this summer we have been less worried about always having our security system chimes on that even alert us to which door. As of today, they are back on.
Safety is such an issue with all of our autistic children. For some it is that they are completely non-verbal and are unable to express help when they need it, for others, like Sam, is that they don't understand safety, or perhaps the way we teach it to them. We can not play "that game" parents play when they need to leave a location. You know the game...when the child refuses to go with you, and you say, "okay, we're leaving, see ya later". Sam is just fine with that, and innocently starts walking away to do whatever he wants to do next and pays us no attention. It is not in the naughty sense either, it is purely that he doesn't understand that he can not be left alone.
Out our own front door...in our neighboring suburb, we mourn for Kaylie's family.
Out our own front door...and across the street, we have the reminder that you can never take our kiddos safety for granted.
Out our own front door...is a world we pray will keep all of our children safe.
A TWIST OF FAITH
Out our own front door, we are reminded of just how unsafe it can be for all of our children. Sometimes, no matter how prepared we are, the unthinkable happens. Once again, we feel unsafe. But there is one place we can seek safety and peace, for we all know that God provides that for us. Kaylie is now safe and back in his arms again.
We depend on the Lord above to save us. Only he can help us, protect us like a shield.