It’s something you never want to think about. Accidents. They happen. In fact, they happen so often we almost never prepare. With Autism Boy, we are constantly preparing. I telling you this, so you can prepare.
It has taken me nearly a year to be in a place where I could write this post. It was a brisk fall afternoon, I was sitting at my desk, in my cozy office and Autism Boy and Exhausted Daddy were on there way to my work to drop Autism Boy off for a bring your kid to work day event. At least that’s what I was calling it. Exhausted Daddy had an appointment and honestly just needed a little free time and I loved the idea of having Autism Boy at work. We were gonna do school work, have lunch, and maybe take a stroll through the gardens and watch the falling leaves. I was just preparing to head down to meet them outside when my cell rang. Exhausted Daddy had a tone of desperation. “We’re not going to meet you. We were in an accident. The car is totaled.” My heart sank. My entire world was in that car. I had no details, just an overwhelming fear. Exhausted Daddy remained calm and relayed their coordinates and I flew out of my office. I past both the traffic officer and medics on the way to the scene. I don’t want to say that I was speeding the mile to the scene but I flew faster than a jet plane. Mama had to get to her boys and nothing was gonna stop me.
I remember coming up to the scene and praying. I didn’t know the condition of anyone, whose fault, or what I would need to do. Shock was taking over. Exhausted Daddy was fine and walking outside the car. The vehicle that had rear ended them at full speed, was completely under the SUV. I hugged my husband and ran to Autism Boy. He was still strapped in the car, which was the safest place for him. Tears were rolling down his face. Although he had initially said he was fine, he was now complaining of pain. The ambulance was on it’s way.
Why am I telling you this deeply personal story. Weeks before the accident, Autism Boy and I started practicing what to do in different scenarios, including an accident. We talked about the need to stay in the car. An adult has to get him out. If Mommy or Daddy is not awake to stay in the car and help will come. We talked about what Mommy or Daddy would do after the accident. We talked about his emergency bracelet and how it reminds him and others who he is and how to get in touch with Mommy and Daddy. We looked at accident photos and talked about all the loud noises and strange motions that occur in an accident. We talked about all the helpers and what the helpers do.
Now was our moment to meet the helpers. Autism Boy and I rode in an ambulance that day as Exhausted Daddy stayed with the car. It was another thing we had talked about. We had recently toured a fire station and seen the firemen and ambulance drivers. They had made him familiar with all things in the rig and it helped. Autism Boy was fine that day, but only cause we prepared.
Accidents are something you normally don’t prepare for, but why not. In our home we prepare for all sorts of things, accidents, fire, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Having a few talks and showing a few pictures could change the outcome during any incident.
I have no doubt in my mind that Autism Boy didn’t run because of all the talking and practice we had done in the weeks prior to the accident. I know his staying in the car ensured that he didn’t incur additional injuries. I know that had my husband been injured Autism Boy knew where his bracelet was and who to show it to, to get Mommy called for help. I am thankful my family is safe and I hope you will talk to your family and stay safe also.