The Adventures of A Child with Special Needs - Part 1
I believe that an important part of life is to look at it from the perspectives of other people, to learn about life's lessons from their point of view.
Here's something that a friend of mine sent me. He is a parent of an autistic child and I'm honored that he shared this slice of his unfolding adventures with me.
The Adventure Begins
Well, here goes the story…
Had not try written anything much regarding my autistic child but there’s a day that worth to be document down. It’s all happened on the 28th February 2009. We were having a picnic at East Coast Park. Once we had reached the beach, my brother-in-law and I were immediately set to work on the camp site. We started pitching the tent and setting up the foldable table. The kids were having fun building sand castle.
Once the camp site was setup, everyone gathered around the picnic table for breakfast. Of course, my established custom kicked in, looking for a shading spot, I went into a snooze. Maybe dreamt of catching that giant yellow fin tuna which I saw early in the morning while preparing the tent. Yeah…… you are right. In local water, where can you find yellow fin, maybe it’s only a big queen. I was awoken by Keet, “Papa …I ….want…..to….ride… bicycle…”. Well, as usual, the answer had to be approved by the mother, “You…..ask mummy….tell mummy….you want to ride bicycle.” Keet replied, “Okay”, and off he went to look for his mum. Later, I was awaken again, disturbed by a commotion behind me. I turned my head and looked over my shoulder; saw Keet was riding a bicycle. Keet able to ride bicycle was a known fact to me but maybe new to my parent-in-laws.
They were praising Keet for being able to ride on those standard bikes without child supporting wheels. Keet learnt his cycling skill during last school holiday, December year 2008. Gathering some strength from the sea breeze, I wiggled my way out from the safari cocoon. Once on two, I began to walk towards Keet, that’s when I realized that my wife hadn’t rented a bike for me. Instead, my brother-in-law had rented a double seaters, one for himself and the other for Keet’s cousin. As they rode pass me, I, still in the dreamy state, saw Keet was in fact following them. At first, I thought they were about to made a U-turn, but then later did I realized that they were in fact planning to cycle all the way to the jetty which maybe a couple of miles away.
Really Worried Parents
Meltdown!! Should I use this word? My mind immediately was driven into an overdrive. What’s going to happen? I had never let my child wandered alone before. “What if…”, these two words kept flashing in my mind. Am I having schizophrenia or paranoid? I am showing sign of first rank symptoms, hearing hallucinating voices from Keet, “Papa…papa…help me…you… help me….”. Psychotic symptoms or behavior started to kick in on me. I am having deep breath every minutes, walking repetitive to and fro, glancing into the far end of the track, anxiety begin to shown on my face. In my mind, I was thinking, should I rent a bike and chase after them. I told my wife my concerns and soon found out that she, too, was suffering the same disorder. I believed all parents do have this kind of behaviors. I told my wife to call her brother to check on Keet and was told that he was doing okay. That’s sound a relief to me. But still, I am having the same worry.
What if he fell? What if he lost his way? My mind started flashing back those old memories, Keet running around the playground, days we had together visiting the zoo, breakfast noodles with one egg, bedtime story telling, Keet’s charming smiles…., toothless smiles….What if I really lost him….I had not even said my last word to him. Every night, before he went to bed, I would whisper in his ear, “I love you.” And in return, Keet would said, “I love you papa.” What if that night never comes? What should I do?? There had been too many questions racing across my head…………………
(continued in Part 2)