Dear Man That Stopped To Helped Me With My Child,

Thank you! Thank you for your kindness and understanding. Today I needed that smile and understanding. My son Owen is five. He has severe autism. He has no fear, no sense of urgency, no idea of danger. And that scares me.

He likes to walk. We normally walk down to the large parking lot down the street from us. He never wants to walk home, so today I thought I would take our walk around the block. The block took us on a 45 minute journey of the scariest time of my life.

Owen only listens to the words he wants to listen to and only applies the rules he wants to use. As we walked we came to a corner, a four way stop. He loves watching cars. He jumps up and down, his stimming motion. He was right on the corner. The more I tried to encourage him to walk towards me the more he laughed and lunged towards the cars. I begged him to walk away. I tried everything. He finally moved. He started walking on the edge of the sidewalk but we were moving in the right direction, or so I thought.

We got to the next corner. Because I was herding him he kept moving forward and didn’t stop at that corner. We got to the next corner, we were almost home. We were almost safe. Owen didn’t want to turn. He wanted to run across the road, the traffic. I said let’s go home, he wanted to run. I tried to pick him up, he threw himself on the ground. His jacket fell out of my hands, but I was able to grab him. The angle I had him I couldn’t pick up his jacket. I should have left it, it was only a jacket. I set him down, I thought still in my grasp, he was not. He ran. Luckily the car that was coming towards him saw everything that was going on.

You stopped. You asked me if we were ok. You told me you saw him fall. I told you he had severe autism and he wanted to run and didn’t understand the cars. You told me you would leave unless I needed you to stay.

Owen was a little distracted by you. and that slowed both of us for a minute, but then he ran across the street. He ran and he ran. I’m yelling at him to stop, to wait for mommy, to not run from mommy. He ran more, he tripped, he cried, he got up and he ran. I couldn’t get ahold of him. I ran faster. I finally got him. I finally got him in my arms. I was crying and he was screaming.

We got home. I didn’t want to put him down. I didn’t want to think about ever walking out of the house again. I cry now thinking of tomorrow. It’s time for him to have the tracking device on him, the leash. I cry more.

Today I needed compassion. I’m always worried when I’m out, what people will think when Owen throws himself to the ground, screams at the top of his lungs, and thinks that it is funny. So thank you to you sir for stopping and giving me that encouragement I so desperately needed. Thank you for recognizing that sometimes there is more to the story and that we all need a little help from time to time. Thank you for helping me try to keep my son safe one more day.

Sincerely,

The Autism Mom That Cries A Lot

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