Help Me With This Discussion ... Autism (sorry long) — The Bump
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Help Me With This Discussion ... Autism (sorry long)

Hello :o)

I typically post on the Dec 2011 moms board but I found myself looking HERE for some advice.

A family recently moved into our cul-de-sac. The mother is single and has several children.

One evening I pulled into my garage (it was dark, just me and my 1 year old, and my husband was not home yet) ... I checked my phone and heard a knock on my car window that startled me, when I opened the door I saw a boy (8ish) step back and stand there, I said hello to him and asked if he needed my help. He turned around and walked away and right into another neighbors garage following their car in exactly as he had followed mine.

I spoke with that neighbor about it and she mentioned to me that the boy was part of the family that moved in and that he had Autism. She mentioned that a couple of other neighbors told her recently that this boy walks into their houses (via front door) often. She said she was going to speak with the mom about the child's safety. After her discussion, she said the mom was really understanding and told her that her son has an aide that looks after him when she is away.

This week (really the last 3 or 4 days) he has walked into our house 3 times. Opens the front door, peeks his head in, and walks in. He is non-verbal every time. I usually just guide him out back to his house.

I need to have a discussion with his mom and I dont know what to say - I am concerned for his safety and the liability that comes with him walking into garages and homes where people do not know him. I have never seen the aide his mom said she has for him. I want to be understanding but I also want to be respected as do the other neighbors. I work with children daily but not in this capacity, so I am at a bit of a loss.

Can anyone offer advice for my discussion with his mom? From what I know from the other neighbor she has this child, three girls, and her oldest son has Aspergers.

Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: Help Me With This Discussion ... Autism (sorry long)

  • When you say you guide him back to his house, what do you mean? Do you just point him in that direction or walk him all the way home? That would be the best time to talk to his mom.

    Do you not lock your doors? I live in an okay neighborhood but would never leave my door unlocked (or my garage for that matter).

    I agree with auntie, respect has zero to do with it. As a parent to a child with ASD I am terrified with the future prospect of the dangers she can get into. My child bolts. Bolts right into traffic, she has no sense of danger. As she gets older it will be harder. The other day I almost cried because I realized I will have to figure so much out. How do I grocery shop when she doesn't fit in the cart? What will happen when she learns to scale our fence like my friends autistic child did? She is never left unattended but if I had 5 kids there is no way I could realisticly think that would be the case.

    Maybe you could walk him back next time and have a quick chat. Let the mom know you will keep your doors and garage locked but would love her phone number so if you see him trying to get in  she can be notified. Also, hey, why not bring her a pie or something lol? Welcoming her and her kids to the neighborhood would be nice.

    Olivia Kate is almost 4!
    Diagnosed with autism this year and doing great!
  • Thanks for the suggestions! By "guide him back home" I mean this: Our houses are in a small group of 5, we all share a small driveway, so I usually walk him out the door and walk him like 10 feet ( half way ) between our doors. Typically he just walks back into his own home. I agree that might be an opening for me to speak with his mom.

    I dont think I was clear when I used the word "respect." I wasnt using the correct word to express how I feel but I am not sure right now what the correct word my head it reads a little bit differently than it came across.

    We are not typically home during the day - my husband and I both work and we live in the second safest city in the country so I am not really too worried about locking my door 100% of the time - truth is it usually IS locked but our neighbor recently hit our garage door with his truck so we are using it all the time right NOW. Our garage is always shut when we are not home. There is no external door to the garage. 

    I want to be able to have a good relationship with the neighbors (any and all) and I want the new ones to feel as welcome as we did when we bought our house last year. I felt like asking for advice would be better than making assumptions or saying something offensive without intending to. Thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it - and to those of you who came off a little condescending I think you need to take a step back and ask yourself how you would like to be approached in this case - with sensitivity and concern or with assumption and frustration. 

    Thank You!! SO much! 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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  • Bubba2Be THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help and the articles!! I think you've provided me with some great ideas ESPECIALLY the fundraising one if that's something this family is interested in - I raise money for children and families DAILY (it's my job :o) and I would be more than happy to help this mom.

    Again, I appreciate all of the advice - really I do!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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