I love hearing my 16-year-old son, Tristan, talk about anything. Since he has autism, his expressive language has varied over the years. He has fluctuated between one word and two-word phrases. He has sprinkled in a few sentences over the years. Currently, he is non-verbal most of the time.
My oldest son, Jacob, was working on a project in elementary school. He asked me for a glue stick. I went to the drawer where I kept permanent markers, tape, and glue sticks tucked away so Tristan wouldn’t get them. Jacob worked diligently on his assignment into the late evening. Jacob left it out to dry on the counter overnight.
The next morning I woke up and noticed the project on the counter. I could not believe what I saw.
Christmas was special with Tristan this year because of his reactions to his gifts. Sometimes, it can be challenging to figure out what toy he would like to have. This year’s reaction was priceless.
This story Brian and I still laugh about at times when we are reminiscing about life.
I can’t express in words how much work it took to keep Tristan safe. We had to keep locks on everything. This was to prevent him from escaping our home. It was like we had Houdini as our son. He would elope out the front door, back door, side door, and windows! We never could figure out why. I have concluded that it was just a game to him. Whatever the reason was we just learned to be on our guard.
This meant we had to open and shut doors and lock them quickly! If we forgot he would surely let us know…by taking advantage of the opportunity. As soon as someone entered our home we swiftly locked them in our home. We always had keys in our pockets. This was the standard “Tristan safety procedure” in our home. This became the norm and we didn’t even think about it much. Neighborhood children knew the drill. Family visitors knew that all doors would be locked.
Then one day Brian had to be home to let someone in our home. It was through our mortgage company. Brian was told someone would be by for paperwork. That day Tristan was home sick from school. Just Brian and Tristan were home.
Brian answered the door. It was a young lady. She entered and Brian immediately locked the door! He realized that it probably looked pretty bad. He just locked this woman inside our home. Then he realized she could be concerned, terrified, or frightened. Therefore, he rapidly started explaining that our son is special needs and will run out of the house.
The lady said, “Ok.”
We aren’t really sure if she understood how severe of a behavior elopement can be. Sometimes we laugh thinking she might have thought that was creepy to be locked inside a stranger’s house!
Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!
Tristan went to a Christmas party at his school! I think the picture says it all– he enjoyed seeing Santa. I am grateful that his school does fun social events and takes pictures for us.
The other day a co-worker was sharing a time a babysitter called with a mishap. This reminded me of my stories related to this topic. There’s an extra element of surprise when we would leave Tristan with sitters.
When Brian and I took Tristan on a walk at a local walking track Tristan stopped and stared at a tree. Continue reading