Our Autism Story – Day 24 – “Safety”
If it appears we are hovering over Brahm when we are out in public or even at family gatherings, it’s because we are! We try to keep a close eye on him because we are afraid he is going to hurt himself or wander away.
Brahm isn’t fearful of dangerous things. In fact, he seems attracted to them.
Brahm is very interested in fire (i.e., What are things that light up?!!).
Brahm doesn’t fear heights. He has had several injuries from walking off elevated places or rolling off furniture, including a broken leg when he was 1.5 years old.
Brahm doesn’t understand that things like roads and ponds are dangerous.
On top of being attracted to dangerous items, Brahm wanders. The majority of the time he will stay near us. However, he has a repeated history of running or wandering off if he sees something that interests him (i.e., lights, fans & windmills). We worry if and when Brahm wanders off that his lack of fear of dangerous things and situations could lead to a worse case scenario (drowning, frostbite, hypothermia). And, he is sneaky and quiet, like a ninja!
Going out in public has another challenge for us: Brahm does not fear strangers…at all! We’ve had harmless, funny, and awkward times, like when he left our dinner table at Disney and sat at a different family’s table and started talking to them. On the flip side, it can be scary because he will run or wander off and virtually anyone could take him.
Brahm’s therapists and we have been attempting to teach Brahm stranger danger and teach him the important information he would need to tell someone if he was lost / taken. Brahm isn’t at the point where he could tell someone his full name, our names, our phone numbers, or our address. So, we have invested in quite a few ID bracelets over the years (he sometimes hides them or loses them). Helena, ever the big sister, has taken one for the team and has worn an ID bracelet this whole time, too, to encourage her little brother to keep his on. We consider this a win / win, as both kids are just a little bit safer with the bracelets on!