Thursday, November 18, 2010
Danger- Autie Kid At Work
In addition to his usual ninja style scaling of walls and flooding of bathrooms, he has taken to lighting matches, licking razor blades (yep, you read that correctly) and smashing eggs (ingeniously, down the back of radiators).
This is in addition to his long-established tricks of climbing on the kitchen cupboards, wedging himself between the top of the bookshelf and the ceiling, and wriggling from his big brother's bunk onto the top of the wardrobe.
Did I mention that he likes to climb?
Like a shark smelling blood, he is attracted to danger at a five mile radius.
Keeping our autie kids safe devours an enormous amount of our time and attention.
Many autie parents have mastered the art of sleeping with one eye open as their kids have been known to climb out windows, or unlock doors in the dead if night.
As a result we live in a self-imposed prison.
I go about my daily work with a bunch of keys in my pocket, and methodically re-check doors, windows and any possible escape route at regular intervals to try and prevent him running away again.
(Bob is a bolter and has been found heading for the hills on many occasions, despite our every attempt to keep our home on military lock-down. On one occasion a neighbour mercifully returned him to us before we even missed him).
I kinda wish I had OCD so all the checking wouldn't be such a pain in the gluteus maximus.
It's become a way of life for us, but now and again I have to remind myself that this is not normal.
I worry about the effects our hyper-vigilance will have on Bob's big brother and sister, and hope that it will not lead them to becoming anxious, neurotic adults.
Now that Winter is here Bob isn't so inclined to go outside, and although we can't let our guard down, there is less likelihood of him running away at the moment.
Maintenance of safety is an element of autism that is sometimes overshadowed by issues such as communication difficulties and toilet training, but it is relentlessly exhausting and mentally draining to live with.
I am clinging onto the hope, as more veteran autie parents tell me, that safety issues will become less prominent as the child matures, and the benefits of education become apparent.
In the meantime, I guess all I can do is dress for the job and jangle my keys with style.