Silent Sunday: The Escape Artist

cupcakeavatarToday is Harry Houdini’s birthday.  It got me thinking about all the insane predicaments my kids and the children I’ve had in my care over the years have gotten into; like the time my stepdad was watching my 2 year old and attempted to change his diaper.  That was back when he was perpetual motion and shortly after the autism diagnosis.  We came home to a disheveled little boy with a backward diaper.  Or, the time I was a bus driver on a special ed route and my favorite little 3 year old squirmed his way out of the harness and down the 40 foot aisle to the rear emergency door to pull the red handle.  How I never went careening off the road and how we got to him in enough time, I will never know.   Then there is the time I found my then 4 year old leaning on the window screen of our second floor bedroom.  He, for whatever reason, needed to see the park, and was pushing against the screen trying to get a better view.  How do you react without reacting and scaring him further out the window?  When I was working with 12 year old twin boys, another respite worker and I took them out into the community.  My coworker decided to drive us to the local Barnes & Noble.  Then next thing I know, one twin bolted into the mall with me in hot pursuit.  When I caught up and redirected him back to the book store, I found his brother scaling the book shelves with the respite worker trying to coax him down.  These are the situations that you look back on and laugh about.  What funny, crazy, harrowing situations have you found yourself in with your kids?



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One Response to Silent Sunday: The Escape Artist

  1. Courtney says:

    At two and a half right before our son got his diagnosis we put him into a local church pre-school for a few half days a week. We had just moved to Atlanta. We knew something was wrong but we didn’t know what. We had been doing speech, OT, evaluation after evaluation…you name it. He had quit talking at about 18 months and slowly seemed to slip away. We didn’t know what would happen in a school setting but we felt the need to try and get him around other children. I think deep inside I knew it was doomed but I didn’t know what else to do. The school was terrific…they tried so hard but after a month they called us in. They told us that our son had been trying to follow us out of the classroom and would “try” all day. They had dealt with that lots of times. It was normal in fact. What they hadn’t dealt with was a child that at two was able to figure out three different types of locks and a safety gate twice his height so fast the teacher’s barely had time to take their eyes off him. It had become a safety issue. And that was something they could not ignore.

    Looking back it was one of the worst moments…we didn’t know what to do and we felt so helpless. Even then the director of the school recognized how smart he was…how different from the other children in a good way…but all we heard was “we simply can’t keep him because we can’t keep him safe”. Now after getting a diagnosis, a year and a half of in home ABA, a year and a half of healing his little body with all natural biomedical interventions and almost a year in an intensive early intervention pre-school with extensive safety measures….he’s back in that typical church pre-school with an ABA aide we provide. Last week we had a parent/teacher conference in that same office after about a month back in the school. It was like deja vu. We sat down much the same way we had before and held our breath….to be told he was spectacular and they had no real concerns other than those we were working on. They were simply so happy to have him back. Has the past year and half been hard? It’s been the hardest of my life. But we made it back and he’s doing so well. And I realize the same things that made him able to figure out and be so persistent at how to get “out” are the things that have helped him get back “in”. The escaping tendency and talent was terrifying at times but it often showed off the unbelievable intelligence he so often would not let others see in traditional ways. Now that we’ve achieved so much I can look back at that moment and smile but at the time it felt like my world was collapsing….I try to remember it now when we face another situation that makes me simply want to melt.

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