Having a special needs child guarantees a lot of worry. There is much daily monitoring and sleepless nights in addition to the usual things that terrify you in wonderment about the condition.
The last couple of nights he's been putting our shoes on, and walking around the house. Not a big deal, he has done this on occasion. He added a twist though, with shoes on he got the hairbrush and started brushing his hair.
Did he have someplace to go?
Today I worked, then went and did the grocery shopping.
When I got home my son was eating yogurt at the dining room table, my wife looked at me with tears in her eyes and was very upset.
I thought someone had died.
Then she told me he got out.
Wandering is a trait that some autistic kids have. They just take off. They get lost in the woods. They're attracted to things, such as water. Sometimes they do not make it.
My son was downstairs watching television, my wife was upstairs putting away laundry. This is something that has happened hundreds of times. She was not up there for long, again, this was something that she, no, we did all the time.
When she came downstairs he was gone. She looked to see if he was hiding someplace. He was not. She called 911.
The police were on it very, very quickly. I'd say less than five minutes before they found him a couple of blocks away. So thank you to the dispatcher and the Columbus Police Department for the safe return of my son.
He was headed to his mother's house. She lives very close, and he and I have walked there many times. He knows the way.
To get to his mother's you have to cross two side streets and one busy road. He crossed at least one side street on his own. Yes, you can imagine what could have happened to him, we certainly have.
My son had the knowledge to put his shoes on, the wrong feet, but they were on, get his backpack, open the back door (which he already knew how to do) then climb over a four foot fence in the back yard - he did this, getting a scrape on his belly as a reward. Then he walked through the alley behind our house, crossed at least one side street and got on the main road to his mother's.
To say my wife was terrified is an understatement. This was not her fault. As a wonderful stepmother, she goes though so much as is, she did not deserve this to happen to her.
I did call his mother to tell her what happened. She freaked, as is expected, but commiserated with me and placed no blame. This shit is hard, and it's not getting easier. Time for better locks.
Puberty and hormones are just around the corner.