Autism 101 – Episode 3 : How not to lose your kid…
This past week my husband got a new truck when you get out of this truck. It flashes a message check backseat. It makes me think back to the time I lost Justin. Well I didn’t exactly lose him. He knew right where he was BOTH times!
Yes dear reader, you read that right he was lost two times one time by me and one time by his elementary school teachers on a field trip.
The first time he was about four years old and we were at a play that his older brother was in. He was sitting right beside me, and then the next minute he was not. I tapped my husband on the shoulder and we both got up and started to look for him in a dark auditorium. Luckily, it only took a few minutes for us to get outside, and there was Justin happily playing in the water fountain. He had no idea what we were so upset about. Justin was known as a runner when he was a small child with autism. They are quiet and stealthy. Not to mention innovative.
The next time he was lost was in a field trip to the Gadsden mall to see a Christmas movie. Sometime during the movie he slipped out and took his self to the lords Chicken ( Chik fil A) in the mall ordered up a sandwich , fries and coke all in sign language. Paid for it and was sitting there eating it when he realized they were calling his name over the loudspeaker at the mall.
After these episodes we took much more drastic measures. So here are my top five tips for not losing your child in public even if he or she is a runner.
1. They now make harnesses for children. I know a lot of my younger friends don’t like them but in a busy place with a lot of distractions think six flags or Disney it could be a life saver.
2. I learned this trick from another autism mom. Dress your child in a football or basketball jersey. Have it printed with their birthday number and name on back. These jerseys are designed to be seen 75 yards away. Also have their name tags in their clothes with address and phone numbers so you can be reached. Much to my other children’s chagrin I made them all start wearing these. They called them the Twinkies and hated it.
3. Buy the bracelets that attach you to your child. That way you have constant contact and if it’s broken you know it immediately.
4. Practice Wild West behavior no matter where you are sit with your back to the wall where you can see the entire room and make sure you check all the exits and look for any nooks and crannies that might look appealing to your child.
5. Last but not least buy an ident a kid kit and fingerprint your child. Update it with a new picture every year keep it in your wallet at all times. That way you always have a current photo and fingerprint in case they do get away for a minute.
Last but not least, I know for a fact that you were doing all you can do for your child or grandchild with autism. If something like this happens, try to show yourself a little grace and a little mercy. I could not believe that this happened to me I’m thankful for new technology, that does tell us look in the backseat. I also like during the summer if you have a small child with you in a car seat, take one of your shoes off and put it in the backseat the minute your foot hits that hot pavement there is no chance that you will forget that child or your shoe .
Don’t think it can never happen to you or say I would never forget my child. One of my older friends had her grand child with her in the van in their car seat she open the doors to the van to take groceries in the phone rang while she was in her house and it was about five minutes before she remembered and got back out to the van. Luckily it was fall so the baby was fine and asleep. She too now leaves her shoe in the backseat.
We all live a busy life these days. Be safe not sorry. Love y’all