(Apparently, I have not gotten this topic all out of my system. Also, for the record, I do not focus on the downside, but I do write about it from time to time. I have, in fact at times been accused of being too lighthearted on both of my blogs - so I just cannot win.)
I have told you ad nauseam that DC does not understand safety or danger. I have told you that I tell stories; individual stories, to show you how his mind works - so that it is clear to you that every autistic individual is NOT the same.
We keep hearing and reading:
“If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism,” ~ Dr. Stephen Shore
but it does not seem to carry over into our real life views and assumptions.
So I tell stories, about my child and about his autism.
I tell stories about his inability to communicate even though he is verbal.
I tell stories about the things he has come to figure out and learn and things that are still works in progress.
I tell you that he is unaware of danger and safety issues, no matter how often these things are explained to him.
Just telling you that, does not seem to make you believe or understand, so I try to tell specific stories.
I tell you these stories to show you that no individual is the same and every parent has different fears for their child.
Let me also make it very clear: I do not want to change my child, in any way. I do want you to know just what I am afraid of. I want you to know that we have to work together to be sure that when our children become adults (as mine has) - there are systems and programs in place with far better means of monitoring and staffing than there are right now.
My only wish is that my child will be safe and cared for when I am gone.
Knowing that I need to tell specific stories about safety and danger.
Here is something specific:
He was right next to me - It happened a few weeks ago….._ _ _ _ _
DC wanted to make pizza. “Making” pizza means opening a ready-made crust, adding sauce, ‘sparkling’ cheese (Veggie grated cheese), garlic powder (because he is obsessed with garlic) and pepperoni.
We do this often and DC helps with quite a lot of it. - Continue Reading
And, here is another:
Just a few years ago, DC was out with his aide. They were due home at 5 pm. My phone rang at 5:10. It was his aide. They had been in an accident.
Now first let me say that no one was hurt. Next let me stress that the accident was not in any way her fault, but she was understandably shaken up. The accident happened less than a mile from our house.
We got into the car and drove up to the site. DC was still in the car, as it is a very busy road. He was fine but looked confused as to why I was picking him up on the side of the road. It was only then that he got upset. He knew something must be very wrong if Mom was picking him up by the side of the road.
A car coming off of the highway did not stop to take a right turn and just sailed out into oncoming traffic. The car hit DC and his aide, spinning the car around and around to where it landed on the side of the road facing in the opposite direction.
His aide called me later to make sure DC was okay. He was. He was a little bit upset but otherwise fine. After asking her if she was okay (she was). I asked her if he seemed frightened when it happened. She told me that when the car hit and they began spinning, DC was laughing and saying "Weeee, spinning" as if he was riding a ride at the amusement park.
Although part of me was glad that he was not terrified by the whole thing, hearing that was like a knife to the gut.
He did not even know he was in danger. He just did not know. Not only did he not understand, but he was laughing and enjoying himself. This was not information that was new to me but having something like this happen and realizing that he could not recognize the danger of the situation took the wind right out of me. He did not even know anything was wrong until I came to pick him up.
If he did not understand that he was in danger during a pretty frightening automobile accident, what will happen when he is faced with another dangerous situation?
Think about that for a minute
.......... and then think about it some more.
And then go ahead and tell me what I should or should not be worried about, or writing about..