I just can’t even imagine…

by debi9kids on November 13, 2011

The other day I read my friend Sunday’s post on her blog Adventures in Extreme Parenting and my blood ran cold. Sunday is also a parent to an autistic child, 2 of her boys to be exact, and she wrote about something every parent of a child on the spectrum fears… her son Sam went missing.
And not while under her care.

Ever since the day Will got out of the house without us knowing, it has been my biggest fear. We set about doing things through-out our home to make it safe for Will, including alarming all of our doors, adding additional locks, buying a Child Locator that we attach to Will’s shoes and my key chain, and putting temporary safety tattoos on Will in case, God forbid, he gets out again.

But it never once occurred to me that it could happen at school, not once did I think that the school could possibly be the one to lose my son.
Not once.
I just assumed that in a classroom with more adults than children, in a classroom that is meant to work specifically with children on the spectrum, that they would have these emergency plans already in place.
I assume that Sunday thought the same thing and the lesson here:
Never assume.
Sunday’s son Sam is in a special needs classroom and yet, they “misplaced” him.

It’s horrific.

I know my heart nearly stops every.single.moment of the day when my eyes can’t immediately spot Will when I look for him in a room.
I can not imagine hearing my son is missing and the helplessness that inevitably would ensue.

And I can not imagine the anger I would feel, once my son was located, that anyone would allow what is so precious to me to just carelessly be lost.

My son is my life, as Sam is Sunday’s life.

Thankfully Sam was found and was ok, not sure the same could be said for Sunday’s heart that afternoon, or my heart as it caught in my throat while reading her words.
It has weighed SO heavily on my mind since first reading her post and first thing tomorrow morning, I will be calling Will’s school to be certain they have a wandering plan in place for him and that they take every single precaution possible to ensure my son’s safety every.single.day.

Because, I just can’t imagine the alternative…

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

cat@juggling act November 14, 2011 at 12:40 am

Good heavens, that must be so scary! L was also a little Forest Gump, but seem to be less so now that we have sorted out a lot of his sensory issues.

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Heather November 14, 2011 at 2:34 am

Glad the little boy was found….but how frightening!! =[

Thankful you are leaving no stone unturned for Wills safety.

Prayers and Hugs.

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Christina November 14, 2011 at 9:48 am

What a crazy, scary event!! It's good that everyone is getting the word out so that her terrible event can remind others. Even those of us with children not on the spectrum should check with the schools on their action plans for these issues.

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Renata November 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Oh my ~ that would be terribly scary. I'm so glad he was alright in the end. I know even today we were at a live TV shoot for Dave's work & Eli got lost in the group of school kids ( my kids were the only homeschoolers) & my heart went into my throat until I noticed his head amongst a group of boys!

Definitely worth checking about Will's school's policy.

Hope you are keeping well

Love to you

Renata:)

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debi9kids November 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm

It is terrifying, isn't it? Even just for a moment, whenever I lose sight of any of my kids, my heart catches.
And Will is just 100x harder because I know he doesn't fear those moments even a little bit, nor could he tell anyone his name or where his mommy is….
Makes me sick when I think about the moments he's gotten out and how fortunate we have been.

Thanks for asking about me. I've been… ok. Or, as ok as I can be. Life these days is one second at a time. Easiest way not to lose my mind while we hope to eventually have a place to live that is not only acceptable for our whole family, but safe for Will.
Hope all is well with you, my dear friend. (wish so many miles didn't separate us…)
Debi

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