Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Wanderer...


I think I am going to have to resort to leashing my child once again. Wandering is a very typical behaviour for children with Autism, which makes having a child with Autism very concerning in this department. The worst part is, he is not wandering on purpose, he wanders because he is taking in all the sensory that is the outdoors, he is wandering because he is seeing something maybe I can't see, for him, he is wandering because he is experiencing something amazing, something I can't see.. or that I take for granted.

This started last year, his wandering was so bad, that I invested the $20 and got a leash for him..don't worry, it was like a backpack stuffed animal, a monkey.. he loved it, and Maddie loved it so much we had to buy one for her as well ;)

It came in handy, I knew he was with me at all times, he knew his limits. The leash worked so well, that he ended up just staying beside me, and I really thought he wouldn't need it anymore, so I took it away. Owen did wonderful, he never left my side, even in my gym's busy parking lot, he was with me constantly...but alas, as with Autism, behaviours come back.

Its not very fair to say this is a behaviour, because like I said before, he is not doing this on purpose, he is so sensory based, to him he thinks he is near me, and doesn't know his boundaries like I thought he did. He wanders in any place, weather it be the store when we are shopping, the park, watching Ryan play rugby, last summer.. he even wandered out of my in laws backyard, through the smallest crack imaginable, and was around the block.. I never want to have that feeling again.

You watch and listen to all these news stories as of late, Autistic children wandering off, going missing, freezing to death in the dead of winter, drowning because they don't know to call for help, and being abducted.. this is one of my biggest fears.

We have contemplated doing what some people would feel be inhumane, we have thought about getting a microchip put into Owen, almost like a GPS. Yes, it does sound inhumane maybe from your perspective, but if anything were to happen to my little boy, I could find him right away, a fear we have daily. At school, he will need constant supervision when he is outside for recess, when he is on field trips, for if anyone were to stop watching him closely, he would be gone in a heartbeat.

Yes, they do have tracking systems that are more socially acceptable, like a bracelet, and a chip to put on their shoe.. but then I think, a bracelet he would NEVER keep on, and a predator could take it off no problem.. a shoe charm, he would also sip off due to his OCD with anything on his clothing, including his shoes.. is this our only option?

I can say regardless, I think I would sleep a little better at night, knowing if Owen got lost, he wouldn't be the news for that evening.. I would find him. No questions asked.

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