When leaving school this evening my girl started running down the path.
“Stop at the corner” I shouted…..
….as 2 younger children ran past her and continued around the corner alone.
My girl will be 10 next week and I still have to treat her like a toddler whilst outside.
She has no road sense, no stranger danger, a problem with her vision making her clumsy, and joints that may give out at any moment.
I have to protect her…
….by being over protective.
I feel, at 9, she deserves her independance, but with that comes fear.
Fear as she has no fear!
My girl has always been a runner.
Bolting when something goes wrong with no care for her, or others, safety.
She has run onto roads, run into ponds, hidden from me when spooked in an area full of hundreds of people, lay on the floor in a busy carpark, to name just a few.
Outside is just not a safe place for her unless she is supervised.
Indoors, home is safety proofed as if for a small child.
Windows and doors are locked, keys hidden.
Baby monitors, fire guards and cupboard locks still decorate our house, and are likely to for a lot longer yet.
It is not about trust, it is not about her age, it is about Autism.
Autism is unpredictable.
If I know my girl is calm and grounded, I could let her run around that corner, out of my sight.
But the unpredictability of Autism means that one small thing could trigger a reaction that would mean she would keep running.
It is not worth the risk.
There are cars moving around the car park, buses, taxis, people everywhere.
The challenge is creating a balance.
Keeping my girl safe but still giving her independance.
I don’t want to keep her wrapped in cotton wool, no matter how desperately much I feel the need to.
That balance is the key.