The warm weather has brought on pool weather. We love our generous neighbors who let us swim in their beautiful pool. Nathan loves the pool. He has more language in the pool than in most other places.
But, it does present a problem. Nathan elopes. He takes off, wanders off or just goes after what he wants. And, I am like most parents...I think it won't happen to my child.
I picked this up off the AWAARE website just last night:
In 2012, the National Autism Association found that from 2009 to 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism subsequent to wandering, and that 23% of total wandering-related deaths occurred while the child was in the care of someone other than a parent.
I lock the doors. We watch him close. Someone always knows where Nathan is. But, I think it is time. Time we look a little deeper at safety devices and wandering material. There is a lot of information available. We wait for that close call to act. Why? IDK, as my daughters would say. Not this year. He is getting older, we stress independence and rejoice that he is taking some initiative.
But, there is often more to consider when you have a child on the spectrum when you are taking safety measures. I had a jolt a few months ago. A warning of sorts. Nathan's school takes water safety very serious. The students in the autism program have swim lessons. They board their little bus and go to the pool. Nathan is beginning the process of learning how to swim without supports. When his instructor let him go under water Nathan sunk. He just quietly slipped under the water. It was reported back to me that even babies have a reflex that will propel them up. Maybe not successfully, but it should be there. Nathan had none. Those present were horrified as they saw him sink in the water, without panic or response to what was happening. One even said it was like he was just waiting. Even now as I write this I feel an overwhelming sense of dread. His lessons now include learning to float on his back. We have a long way to go. The importance of learning to swim drives the effort to teach Nathan (and Chase), but protecting him now is VITAL
. Time to look at alarms, alerts and make a plan. One important message that the AWAARE site presents is that if a child is missing CHECK WATER SOURCES FIRST!
Advice I will always heed and teach my family.