My nonverbal autistic son Matthew has been sick with a cough and runny nose for a few weeks.Â I kept him home a few days here and there since you need a note for long periods of time, so I bring him in one day - well worth it so I could get to the Mervyn's 50% off sale to get both my kids warm jackets.Â The weather here in CA turned quickly from high 90s earlier in the week to low 60s during the day and 40s at night.
I missed the Gas Company on Monday as I was out shopping since I had to wait all day - they said 7 am - 8pm so after taking kids to school at 8 am I went and got home at 8:40 and note said Gas Company was there at 8:27.Â
Â But it was so hot I decided it was not that bad.Â Now I have not called for another appointment because of the coughs and I have asthma and don't want that smell of the gas heater in the house and then having windows open.Â
Not to mention the current issue of Family Circle I was reading the other night and it had an article on carbon monoxide that occurred the first night the gas heater had been turned on.Â That same nite our local news reported a similar story, so I have two little Holmes heater fans instead to be on the safe side.
Today it was in the 80s and will be for a few days so the windows were open again.Â So we were out and about at the store Friday and had to park on the other street as ours was filled.Â A few times in the past Matthew has run the other way toward Nicholas's school and the gate to get into the playground.Â This has happened when we picked up Nick and had to park on that street and then he ran, but we knew where he was going and could catch up to him.
This time I unhooked him from the seatbelt and reached in to get the two frozen item bags and was going to get a bag from the front seat and grab my purse when I looked and he was gone.Â I tossed the bags back and left the doors open but got my purse (It's a coach bag I did not want to get stolen), and took off coughing after him.Â
He was past the gate as it was not open due to school being in session so I was not sure where he was going or what would happenÂ as he got to the end of the street.Â I screamed, gasped for air, coughed, wet my pants, sneezed and coughed between yelling stop and his name over and over with mny hoarse voice.
No one was in sight and no cars.Â I had seen a guy come out from a driveway two doors from us that I never saw before and turns out he was still walking on the other side and heard me screaming and saw me running and crossed the street and grabbed my son and held him there until I caught up.
At this point I thought I was going to pass out and figured I soaked through my pants, needed my asthma spray and between my gasps thanked this guy and said my son was severely autistic and just ran from the car.Â
I have no clue or recollection what he said and then he was gone and I was holding Matthew's hand.Â I was contemplating sitting on the sidewalk to catch my breath, but the kid was laughing thinking this was fun.
I barely made it home and had to change clothes and my shirt since the weather was getting warmer and held onto my asthma inhaler taking puffs.Â Matthew was in quite the giddy mood laughing and I told him it was not funny in my loud gaspy voice.Â
So today we head out to get a few things and had to park again on that street, but since Matt loves to shred newspaper and we had the Sunday paper I thought it was safe to grab the bag and purse plus Nick was there.Â
Nick started walking toward the end of the street since we were close to it and our house is around the corner, when all of a sudden Matt took two steps and had this look on his face like I am going to run.Â I screamed some profanity and was able to run a few feet and catch him before he was off.Â He was laughing again thinking this was funny.
Earlier this evening I was telling a neighbor across the street toward the end of our street about what happened and said I had seen her talking the mailman on the other street since her property leads to two streets and she said I really need to get a cell phone.Â I do plan on finally joining the ranks once I get the income tax refund next year as Nick goes to middle school I feel we both need one.
So she says that I need a cellphone so I can call her when this happens so she can go help.Â I said I doubt I could stop from running, screaming and gasping for breath and then dial a number and talk while running.Â She then saw that it made no sense.
I came up with an idea though.Â I hooked up my autism whistle - purchased from http://www.buttonsandmore.com to my keychain and tried it out a few times and even blew it into Matthew's face when he came running into the kitchen.
Not sure it will work but I told the neighbor if she hears the whistle that means Matt is on the loose and start running.
At the end of the street he was running is the school parking lot and since it was 11:30 someone could have been leaving for lunch.Â It is also below Nicholas's classroom and he goes to lunch at that time and I can imagine what would have happened if he came out to see his brother running past his school with his classmates in tow.
I thinkÂ he might have been going to find another way into the playground, but since we recently had an emergency IEP at his school that I called for since he was leaving his classroom and running on the playground before heading to the gate.Â We needed to change the behavior support plan, but they think they have this behavior covered now since the aide changed her break and lunch times.
He is ten years of age and nonverbal so not really sure what he is thinking, but the teacher had said the same thing ended there with him laughing thinking it was a game.Â She said that is why at first they did not go after him, but luckily another Assistant Principal was at the gate otherwise he might have been on the street.
I need to find out where he is running to.........