Thursday, May 5, 2011

B gets lost...and how to trust that it won't happen again?

This Monday we went on a field trip to the Houston Zoo. It was a beautiful day, and we had a great time (although the twins aren't at the point of being very interested in the actual animals yet).

At the very end, in a huge crowd of Houston schoolchildren waiting for buses, a paraprofessional spaced out, and Brendan disappeared. I had G., and I walked up to the group of aides, and asked, "Where's B.?" They hadn't noticed he wasn't there. Next came fifteen minutes of running around like a mad woman, asking the zoo officials to close the zoo gates, and saying to random people, "If you see an autistic-looking boy in a blue shirt, grab him". The teacher had stayed back at the school, so I had to take charge of the situation.

Despite all these years of private therapy, public education, etc., the twins have no sense of danger, and no sense of the need to stay with a group. They might respond to their names in a quiet setting, but definitely not outdoors in a crowd. Luckily, a para found him standing in the gift shop. We still don't know exactly how it happened--he was sitting in a wagon, and the para thought he was buckled in.

Today we are going on another field trip, to a boardwalk, which is right next to Galveston Bay. I almost stayed home with both of them, but I can't keep them home from everything. Letting my guys go off to school, on trips, etc. requires so much trust of people I don't really know very well. I don't know how to balance worry/caution with trust. It's written into both boys' IEP's that they will run off, and I'm trying to think of other precautions we could take (including getting B. a service dog). With J., their big brother, I don't have any of these concerns. I need to find a way of trusting in aides, teachers and fate more than I do right now.


burgiboogie said...

This is one of my worst fears!! Wyatt's school has a strict buddy system, when we are out. Each child has an adult period. You must have been beside yourself!! Glad he was found safe and sound.

kristen spina said...

Really scary! I'm so sorry this happened, but so relieved to hear that it ended well. Relief tinged with worry for the future--oh yeah, I get that.

Mom to JBG said...

The trip today went much better. Different para with B., and I had G.
Sorry to freak my sisters out with this post! I assume as they get older they'll be more aware of danger, etc., but right now they really have to be watched.

A nice young man let Greg and me stay on the carousel for as long as we wanted, all by ourselves with a beautiful breeze off of Galveston Bay. It was wonderful!

Deenie said...

That's so scary. I didn't used to have to worry about my son that way at all. Up until very recently I could be sure that if we were out, he'd be right by my side. (Or his teachers side if he was at school) He just never ever wanted to be more than 5 inches from someone he knew or he'd scream out. That is changing now though and I see him taking more and more chances and drifting farther and farther away from me with no sense of what's safe or not. It worries me but as you said ... you can't prevent them from doing things and living their life. Just gotta trust even though it's so hard.