Please tell readers a little bit about yourself.
I am the stay at home mother of 7 children, one of which is on the spectrum. Before becoming a stay at home mom I dropped out of nursing school and then worked as a performer in a dinner show theater and then as the administrative assistant to the director of nursing at our local hospital. I met my husband while working there. After the birth of my second child my husband stayed at home while I worked doing data entry for the department of immigration. Kindergarten didnt end up working so well for us with our oldest and we decided she would do better in a homeschool environment so I quite work to stay home and homeschool our children. I had no idea at the time we would end up being blessed with so many children, or that one of them would have special needs. My life has had many ups and downs but I feel like I am exactly where I need to be. You can hardly ask for more than that.
How long have you been blogging?
I wrote my first blog post shortly after the premature birth of my twins while they were still in the NICU. That was in November of last year. So in short right around 7 months. I didnt start writing heavily on my blog until March of this year. I am very much still a "baby blogger" : )
What kinds of things do you normally write about?
I write about my children and the things I learn along the way. All of my children are so very different from each other so it gives me a pretty wide range of topics to pick from. I am a mom of a child with special needs, a teen, twins, premature mom. I am somewhat of a nature type mom, but in some ways very main stream. One of my friends described me as versatile and all inclusive. : ) lol I liked that and thought it probably suited me better than anything I could come up with.
Who are some of your favorite bloggers?
I follow and enjoy reading a lot of really great blogs so it makes it hard to pick but a short list of some of my favorites would be
Big Daddy autism
What do you wish people most knew about you?
That I make a TON of mistakes. I loose my cool. I make bad decisions. Yes, sure I get it right too but sometimes I am afraid that people think I just walk through life in this zen bubble. I dont have all the answers but I love trying to find them and the more people that help me in my search the better.
What has surprised you the most since you started blogging?
How much I would actually come to care about so many people that I had never met in real life. There are several people that have been so kind to me as I write about our journey and in return I learn so much from reading about their lives. I had no idea you could actually form REAL friendships through the world of blogging.
And here's her guest post!
Most days I feel a lot like our little friend in the picture above. Over and over again all day long I stop whatever I am doing and search my landscape for sight of my son J-Bird. For those new to my blog J-Bird is my four year old son that has autism. I do this so often that it has became an uncontrollable habit. I will find myself doing it even if he is not home. Even at night I will go and visually check on him several times.
Why do I feel the need to do this? J-Bird is a runner. Not that super awesome "hey my kid is a fast runner" sort of way. In fact J-Bird has a tendency of falling pretty quick if he tries to run at top speed. No, he is a runner in that "OH MY GOD WHERE IS MY KID?!?!?" sort of way. J-Bird is also amazingly adapt at finding ways to by pass my every attempt to keep him out of things that he should not be getting into and also getting out of our home despite the locks and safety covers over the doorknobs.
That information brings us to the story of last night. Just before dark we had a friend over and we were all in the living room watching a movie. J-Bird was sitting on the right hand end of our sectional and was seemingly glued to the television. Ever the meerkat, I look over fifteen minutes later only to discover that he is gone. Movie is paused and the search begins. In the bedroom? Under the bed? Closet? Bathroom? No, no, no, and no. At this point I am starting to panic. The house is deemed vacant of our little guy and so the search is brought outside. Our friend gets in his truck and drives down the road to look. We scream and yell his name. With absolute panic in my heart I realize that he would not answer to his name. He would not come running to our voices. He would not ask anyone for help.
Barefoot I run down our road banging on doors desperate for someone to say they have seen my little boy. No one has seen him. The neighbors start forming groups in yards all watching as I run up and down the road screaming, frantic now to find my boy. They watch, they whisper and I feel absolutely adrift in panic. They are not being unkind, only human, but I want to grab them all and send them running in search of my boy. It has only been twenty minutes since I last laid eyes on him, we have only searched for five minutes but it feels like it has been an eternity. Then one of my daughters thinks she hears a noise from the back of our fifteen passenger van. My husband opens up the back doors and finds him wedged into a corner so small we didnt think he could fit. It looks as though he was trying to take the bolts off the legs of the back bench seat. I collapse to a sitting position onto the street, they all stare, I dont care. I am crying with relief, I dont care, my boy is safe and that is all this mommy meerkat wanted to see.
My little escape artist. Houdini would have paled in comparison.
So today I ask my readers for some input. If your child on the spectrum was also a runner when did they "outgrow" it? Did they outgrow it? What safety precautions did you find that helped? On the advice of a friend I have decided that we need to get a medical ID bracelet. Any recommendations on what information to include on the bracelet? Know a brand of bracelet that is extra durable and difficult to get off?
Got some input? How about you offer it here or over at her original post?
Here's my input: we have alarms on our doors, and each of our kids as an id bracelet or dogtags. We made sure that their names, our names, address and phone number and AUTISTIC were on them. And we trained and practiced, and now these precautions are no longer necessary, thankfully, although we really still don't let our guard down.