I had homeschooled my son for more than a year after he had been to 2 private schools that didn’t work. The first school used restraining as a method to deal with children that had any kind of behavior problems, tied kids to chairs and called all this “sensory”. The second private school lost my son out a window on his first week of school and on the 9th day of school neglected to change his diaper (he is incontinent) ALL DAY and that was not ok.
Well after the year and a half of homeschooling I decided to give it another go. I spoke to the program specialist and we decided on this particular school. She made it very clear to the teacher and principal that my son was a bolter, that they needed to keep a good eye on him and that I had trust issues due to him being lost at two other schools. The only thing pretty much asked of them was to keep my son safe.
Not even a month into the school year…
On Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 I had no idea I was about to live the most horrifying day of my life. I’ve been through quite a bit in this life but this is the one thing that shook my existence to the very core.
I had volunteered all morning at my other son’s class. I left early, had lunch and went on my way to pick up my Angel. I was a few minutes early but I figured I’d park the car and read, play with the phone a little and just wait. I turned on to the street where his school is and all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I spot someone wearing very familiar colors. I swear it felt like my mind was losing it. The closer I got the more familiar the clothing looked. My first thought was… that kid is dressed with the same new shirt I had my son wear this morning. The child wearing these clothes had a grown man with hands all over him. I started to steer my car over to the sidewalk when I realized that child was MY SON!!! And who the hell WAS THIS MAN with hands all over my son?!?
I put the car in park and left it pretty much sideways in the middle of the street. I had kicked off my shoes and did not have time to put them back on. I didn’t even think of putting them on. So barefoot I run out and scream to this man, “GIVE ME MY SON!” I grabbed my son from him, held him with one hand and with the other I was ready to beat the living shit out of this PREDATOR, THIS KIDNAPPER, THIS MOLESTER, THIS SICKO, THIS PSYCHO, THIS MAN THAT WANTED TO TAKE MY BABY!!!!
The man puts his hands up in the air as if he had a gun pointed at him and started pretty much begging for his life. He said over and over, “Ma’am I was trying to help!” “I found your son!” It wasn’t sinking in, he was the bad guy. He wanted to take my precious baby. I had to attack. I didn’t get to him as he kept stepping back with hands up in the air repeating the same thing. Then a woman comes out of the house and says… “this is your son?” She looks at me with hatred, with anger, with judgement. She thought I lost him. I told her he was supposed to be in school. She told me she had called the school and that they didn’t have any child missing. WHAT?!? I’m going crazy! What is this? What is happening?!? Who are these people?!? I wrapped my arms around my son because I had to protect him. From these crazy people, from everything, from everyone. But what was going on?
After a few minutes of just standing there speechless hugging my son, the woman gets a call from THE SCHOOL! She had called and left her number just in case. The school wanted her address because they had just realized they did lose a child. MY CHILD!!! He had been missing for over 15 minutes and they didn’t realize until they checked when the woman called.
I called the police because they had to sort this out. Someone was a criminal here as far as my very confused mind was concerned. I called the program specialist because it couldn’t be possible that the ONLY thing asked of this school was very much happening.
Suddenly the principal shows up by car, then the teacher, then the police, then the program specialist.
I did my best not to grab the teacher and hurt her or say obscenities to her either. I just kept saying “I can’t believe you did this!” She then had the nerve to tell me to “calm down for your son’s sake.” NO! YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE LOST MY SON FOR HIS SAKE!
It turns out that the man who had his hands all over my son was a good Samaritan, was trying to protect him, realized that my son was not responding like a typical child when he asked him to get out of his garage and stop trying to get in his car and then proceeded to run out into the street. He wanted to protect my son from going further, from getting hit by a car. He had seen children similar to my son and realized he couldn’t protect himself so he had to help. He understood my reaction and told me he would have reacted the same way.
I went back the next day when I was able to put coherent sentences together and apologized and expressed my gratitude. They understood and consoled me by telling me that I was right to get so angry, that I had every right to feel the way I did and that they were sorry that I had to experience that which must have been very scary.
Scary isn’t even the word, terrifying isn’t either. My world is crumbling. I am so scared. I am mortified. They took something from me I will never get back. The hope of never having to live this experience, the hope of never having my son exposed to this danger. Losing my son is always a threat in my life but that first image of that man that had his hands on my son is one I see so vividly. I know I will have to work on seeing him for what he was, a good Samaritan but I can’t get the molester, pedophile, psycho, sicko, kidnapper, out of my head.
Now I must carry on with life. I must find a way to cope with this. I must figure out a way to make sure this NEVER, EVER happens again. This teacher just has to thank God that nothing happened to my son due to her irresponsible actions, due to not giving a crap about what she was told not one, or two times but numerous times. In fact on the first day of school I showed up with a list of 3 things to cover with her again. 1-my son is a bolter, he will be out in a matter of seconds so you must always be looking at him. 2-he has self injurious behaviours 3-please change his diaper often.
This shows no respect for what I said, no respect for my beautiful son’s beautiful life. He has AUTISM, I have horrible days because of it but I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL LIFE because of my son’s existence. As a child he is my life, Autism is something that he has and I get to work with for the rest of my life. I thank God every day for my son, NOT AUTISM but for MY SON! She will never get that!