#failure #coaching #autism – My challenge for this past February

I Hate Paperwork.

It gives me anxiety like no tomorrow.

I managed to put together every shred of paperwork in my house and then sat for the majority of the month just staring at the 3 large and one huge reusable bags overflowing with paper.

I avoided them… I.e. I did everything in my power to not be in the room with them.

So finally the last full weekend of the month I finally sat down to do the papers. I dressed in my nicest top, put on a pretty bra and my nicest jeans, I packed up the bags and drove to a friends house. Two cups of coffee, one sandwich, and one long-winded lecture later I began.

Eight hours later I was still going through the papers on their kitchen table. Two bags held files that had been sorted and organized; one with the taxes, hubby’s stuff, my stuff and all the other miscellaneous important stuff, the other bag was filled 4/5ths with Ben’s IEP’s and medical record. On the floor there was a large box was filled with papers I needed to sort into; recycle and shred.

I was one bag away from finishing my paperwork on my RESPITE day, when I got three texts.

“Come home please

Ben is missing

Hurry”

My heart hit the floor.
I dropped everything. Literally, I dropped the papers in my hand.  Bolting upright I ran for the door, the words, “Ben is missing,” came out as the screen door slammed. I drove down the street like a bat out of hell. There were cops in my neighborhood when I got there. No one told me what was going on.
Hubby was freaking out, Unicorn was walking down the street with a cop. I parked the car and started thinking like my son. The open gate across the street called to me and I walked through it. On the next street, I lost all signs of my son.
Panic set in. I walked down the street hollering that my son was missing and asking everyone on the street at almost 9 pm  if they had seen him and to help. I wanted to pull my hair out and scream and cry. How could either of the adults in my house have let him run off? How long had he been gone? What was I going to do if we didn’t find him? I walked almost twenty blocks as I circled back to the house.
“Has anyone gone down the hill?” I cried out to the police officer standing in my yard. I was trying to remember I I had put the flashlight back on the hook, praying that Ben hadn’t taken it or pulled the batteries out again.
“We found him”.
The panic eased and all I wanted was to hug my son. Then the rage hit me. “Where is he?”
D and Unicorn tried to half-heartedly stop me as I stormed into the house and down the stairs to my son’s room. I wanted to beat some sense into him, but I didn’t.
I marched my punk ass, two days away from being seven, son up the stairs to apologize and say thank you to the pretty shocked police officers. At that point, I found out how the police had been involved.
My half-naked son had wandered into the first unlocked house. The wonderful people figured out pretty quickly that kiddo was special-needs and called the police.
We were incredibly lucky that Ben was found safe and sound. Most kids with autism that wander off into dangerous situations.  Wandering AKA Elopement is terrifying. It also causes more paperwork to deal with.
Oh and if you are wondering my paperwork is still sitting… waiting for me to finish it. I’ll get back to it in a few days.
Untill Next Time,
Confession of a Special Needs Mom
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