As soon as I heard on the news tonight that a boy was missing I didn’t even need to hear that he was autistic. I did hear that he tended to wander and had climbed out a window and that he had an obsession with water. That’s all I needed to hear. It gave me absolute chills because straight away I knew he must be autistic. It was the same when the boy went missing and was hit by a train a couple of years ago. He got out of his hiding place to watch the train coming and was killed. I just knew.
It’s a horrible realisation to know that I can pick when a child is autistic just by hearing about how they have been killed or gone missing. It fills me with dread cos it could have just as easily been Beth. She had a bad habit of wandering off and still has no traffic or stranger danger. She is also quite obsessed with water. Now that she is older she’s not so bad but still can’t help herself at times if it is there, it’s just compelling to her. That’s why we’ve always insisted that she learn to swim, at least if she falls in somewhere she should be able to get herself out of danger. The problem is though that she may not know she’s in danger if it happens. When younger she’d just climb into water wherever we were, no matter what time of year or day.
When we had mothers group Beth was the one that could never be found at the park. She’d be out the gate in a flash and sitting at somebody’s table eating their food. I still can’t to this day understand why, when there’s so much to do and look at in a playground or even at somebody’s house that the sole aim that she had was to escape. It frustrated me, infuriated me but most of all it scared the hell out of me cos she had no idea what she was doing. I constantly had to be on my feet watching where she was and in the end (when I had a baby in arms too) we just stopped going to places like that, it was too nerve racking. That’s one of the reasons that we were lucky enough to find Menzies Creek. It’s one of the only schools I know that is off the main road.
I feel so bad for the parents of this missing boy Christian, IÂ pray to God that they find him safe and well.
Postscript : the body of Christian was found last night in the lake opposite his house. My prayers are with his parents