The month of April is best known for the explosion of Easter Bunnies, obscene amounts of chocolate as gifts for children and a magnificent feast to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. To many people April is Easter, they plan, they organise, many months in advance sometimes, Children have the time of their lives, gorging on chocolate, receiving gifts from extended family members, but to me, April is Autism Awareness month.
So to celebrate this, I am going to dedicate my blog for a whole month to families who wish to share their Autism Journey with you.
Some of these people have autism themselves, some are autistic parents to autistic children. We have teachers with autistic students and even Bloggers who want share their journey with me, which I am very grateful for.
Autism and staying safe
I've been asked if I could put something together for an autism journey blog. Short, long, and any topic related to autism. I had no idea where I would start. Which main bits to put in or leave out.
Until two days ago...
Two days ago it was staring me straight in the face. A broken electrical socket that connects the electricity supply to the heater in my son's bedroom. His bedroom. Where my precious 3 year old sleeps, plays and should be safe.
Now he wasn't !
The realisation that while he had been jumping around playing in his room during the small hours of the night, bare footed and in the dark, he had broke the socket. The emotions of what might have happened surged through me. The one room, the only room we thought was safe was now not.
Why can't he just have one room that we can feel assured he will be fine? Just one room! Is it too much to ask for? As parents you strive to protect your children from the dangers around them. To allow to learn when things are too hot, too high, dirty, sharp, the list is endless.
As parents you can teach your children to learn not to touch, climb and play safely and as they grow allow them freedom to develop their sense of awareness to these dangers. You simply can't with a child on the spectrum.
My husband and I are constantly moving things, making things safe. Locking windows, doors, switching the cooker off at the wall, replacing stair gates.
It's a constant risk assessment just to sit with a cup of coffee! Out of the home is worse. We have simply stopped visiting friends and family's homes. Moving their furniture, TV, ornaments and breakables. Fun day trips to any location is always so much hassle for us but it's worth it for him to get to do activities and see attractions.
Communication is key to our son's safety. Watch that door, that's made of glass, you go in with the other children I'll stay over here with him. Taking it in turns to try and enjoy our family day out while keeping him safe. Our son's 4th birthday is in a few days. People have asked what we want for him. It's simple, we want him to be safe!
Eating lunch on a park bench, and keeping everyone's safety in mind we have to use his reins to strap him to the bench.