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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

So sad

I was watching the news last night when a story caught my attention and I immediately burst into tears. Apparently a 6 year old boy from Tuscaloosa county who has autism wandered away from his home and drowned in the Black Warrior River. His beautiful face is all I saw as I closed my eyes to go to sleep last night. Sean went through a wandering stage a while back so I completely understand how this can happen.

When he was 2, I awoke one stormy morning to the front screen door slamming open and shut. I at first thought it was the wind blowing the door, then I heard Sean giggle and knew that he was outside in the storm. I jumped out of the bed and threw on my robe and pulled him in the door. I just sat there on the floor holding him and trembling. We installed locks on the top of the doors that day. A few days later he got out again and my neighbor brought him back. He had apparently very quietly stacked storage containers on top of one another and opened the lock at the top of the door. We had to get really creative really fast because we live just off of US highway 431 and it is very busy and the traffic is very fast. We turned his door knob to his room around so we could lock him in his room and installed alarms on the doors. I didn't want to do this but I'd rather have him safe in his room than to get out and get killed on the highway. He is sensitive to high pitched, loud sounds and will avoid them at all costs. It only took him opening the door one time with the alarm activated to realize that he will not be sneaking out anymore. He stood there hysterically crying and slammed the door shut holding his ears and ran to me for help. I explained to him that we had to have the alarms on the doors to keep him inside unless we could go with him to watch him. He seemed to understand and never got out again.

I am praying for this family. I read that they also have an 8 year old son with autism as well and I know that will be doubly hard on them trying to explain to him what happened to his brother. I can't imagine the pain and struggle they are going to face as the whole family progresses through the grieving process. I know they are part of a church family and will be turning to them for support. Please view this story at

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