Sunday, May 19, 2013

#MikelyaLynch, #OwenBlack, #DrewHowell #AutismWandering, #DontJudge

My original post is in regular font.  I've had to update my blog because there has been a 3rd death.  Little Drew Howell.  He was 2.  There are no words.

This post is to honor Mikelya Lynch, Owen Black and now Drew Howell.  These little children had Autism.


They ALL passed away suddenly this week as they both wandered from their families and drowned.

Children with Autism are attracted to water.  I know this to be true because I see it with my Owen, every day.  The boy loves a shower, bath, the pool, surfing.  If there is water, he's happy.

I fear so many parents out there may be judging their poor families, and I want to be sure I say to them-


Children with Autism like to bolt, run, wander without fear.  I have seen this with our Owen just recently as he has  attempted to bolt when getting off the bus and blindly running to the garage for his bike.

Yes, I told him No.
Yes I was was stern.

He did it again the next day.

And the next.

And the next.

Each day for a week it was like a repeat of the next.  I could see he wasn't even thinking of the consequences of me yelling at him. He knows he wants his bike and it's all he cares about for the moment.

Ever since Owen was walking we have insisted on him holding our hand, and we make him look both ways before crossing and most importantly, to wait for an adult.   The last few days, he's been listening by a thread, and I can feel his hand ready to pull away if I let go for a second as I lead him from the bus.

He hasn't been running.  Thank God.  But, he wants to.  I feel it.

So, please don't judge these families.  Grieve for them and Say a Prayer.

If your babies have Autism, please go and apply for the Big Red Safety Box from the National Autism Association.  Right now they are taking applications for families to receive this for free.  We got ours and it will be one of the many things that we will be using in our everyday life, and especially when we move to our new home this summer.  You can get your box here: Big Red Safety Box

Also, make friends with your neighbors if you haven't already.  All of our neighbors right now know that Owen has Autism and is non verbal.  They also all know that if they EVER saw him wandering to stop him.  He is never to be out alone and I've talked to them all.  I will also be speaking to all my new neighbors and giving a fact sheet on Autism when we move.

Next, go visit Project Lifesaver.  In a word, it's GPS.  It's a bracelet or anklet that will help to find your child if they ever wander.    I made my call when Mikelya was found, and I'll be calling again tomorrow to try and speed things up now that little Owen has passed away.  My Owen will hate it at first, but he'll get used to it.

Or just bookmark AWAARE.  It's a wonderful resource for a topic no one wants to face.

Then, Swim Lessons!  We're in the process now of trying to find the right school for our little man and I hope you do the same.  If you live in Monmouth County, NJ and you need help, give us a shout and I'll tell you what I know.  If you have any recommendations, I'm all ears.

God Bless Mikelya, Owen and Drew.  They are not the first to wander, but I pray they are the last.


Jester Queen said...

Both of mine can swim now, and that's some measure of relief. And Sam, my wanderer, seems to have decided to stay with us. For now.

debi9kids said...

It's so scary. And awful.

My son got out of the house 3 times and every time I think of it, I cry.
No sob.

It is the most horrifying feeling.
Except of course what these families are going through.

Thanks for the great links. I didn't know about a lot of these for my son.

Owen's Mom said...

Jester Queen-How old were your kiddos when they learned?

Debi9kids-I know what you mean. It is terrifying. Im hoping our Project Lifesaver paperwork processes quick!

Full Spectrum Mama said...

THank you for this - good resources and ideas for those of us with "seal" children, as i call my son ;)