Thursday, April 8, 2010

Your Child on GPS, Priceless!

When GP was four years old, he walked out the door and disappeared. Literally! He was found by the police; he was identified by my description of what he was wearing, about a quarter of a mile from our home. He was nonverbal, he is autistic, he was easy prey and it was one of the worse days of my life. He had crossed two busy streets and was walking to Wendy's. He was hungry.
Hey, the child is autistic, not stupid! LOL!
After this dreadful day we lived in a dead bolted house, at all times. If there was a fire we would have had to break a window to flee our own home. It was a time of fear. Fear inside the home and fear outside of the home. I slept on the couch and Gino slept with GP; if he wandered at night I would "catch" him at the bottom of the stairs before he got into anything. We had the house covered but the "outside world" was still impossible. I looked into child tracking devices but they were impossibly expensive and just did not seem like the right fit for our needs. Anyway, time has brought us many advances and one of them is the cellphone.
Oh yes, GP has a cellphone. He actually has two, don't ask. I don't know why he has two. It's just one of those things that is... I guess he wants to be "really" sure he doesn't miss any calls. (Oh wait, the Puppy Spa is on his speed dial but grandma isn't. Please don't tell my Mom.)
Anyway, what I wanted to share was that today I found out that Blackberry has a GPS APP, and it's FREE!
OMG! I'm doing the happy dance, HOORAY! If his ringer is off I can still find him. This is probably not what this app was designed for, but I tell you...my Prince on GPS, Priceless!
Or $89/month before taxes,
depending on how you look at it. LOL!
Footnote:
It just occurred to me that you wouldn't get the Wendy's reference so here's a footnote. When GP was about three and a half he stopped eating "regular" food. It was a sensory thing. It was a long time ago so I choose to forget the worst of it but suffice it to say that for a few years all he ate was chicken nuggets from Wendy's. But this too did pass. Thank God! So when he was hungry he signed (ASL) eat and we would get in the car and drive to Wendy's... he knew the way, and he knew that's where they had the food he ate. He was hungry, I was busy, he decided to go without me. Smart Kid! It would have been nice if he had told me before he took off without me. Huh? When I was reunited with him I was sobbing and asking him "Gene Paul, where were you going? Why did you leave Mom?" and he smiled at me and signed "Eat!" That's the only time I have ever been in a cruiser. I could not walk and had to be driven home.
I would have killed for a GPS that day!

13 comments:

Marie said...

Hey Brenda, I love when you share your life with your Prince, he is precious and all that goes with that! It is wonderful that there have been so many new things discovered to help parents along the way. I love that he has a cell especially 2!! Take care and God bless you all.Hugs, Marie

Lynn @ Painting Thyme Needfuls said...

Great story...GP is priceless....love that he has 2 phones! So with the GPS...you'll have no excuse for getting lost on your way to my house.....now if we could figure out how not to have a fender bender you'll be golden!!!!! LOL
HUgs,
Lynn

Barb said...

Oh.....that would have been so scarey, so glad it ended in a happy note....and yes, I can see you doing the happy dance over the GPS

Denise :) said...

Yay for free GPS apps! Happy for you! :)

Sheri Howard said...

Oh, that is the best story....even it did give you a heart attack! I love that signing has been taught to children of all needs...it helps so much with the communication process. I learned to sign and have a hearing impaired friend...two infact. My little grandson can sign please...it touches my heart in a way I can't explain! So glad you have a GPS...modern technology is so AMAZING!!!

Jen in NY said...

Oh my goodness, I would have been freaking out too. The GPS app is perfect. I'm so glad they have that...I'm going to have to get that when my kids get cell phones. :-)

WoolenSails said...

Nothing worse than loosing sight of our kids. I couldn't get rid of mine, haha. Mine would have been the ransom of red chief scenerio;) That will make it a lot easier for you.

Debbie

Katie :o) said...

Beautiful :o) Our extra-special kiddo has a medical ID bracelet with her name, "non-verbal," and our contact info on it. It hasn't been off her wrist for three years now :o) But we live in the boonies... if she ever wanders off our (fenced in!) property, I hope there are some literate squirrels nearby....

Jenny said...

What a fantastic app. Anything to give you piece of mind is worth it!

It's such a sweet story but I can only imagine your fear!

I hope you get the day to do fun stuff! Sans GPS!

Jan said...

OMG, that's a story and a half; but thank God for the "happy ending!" That whole day must still give you nightmares!!! Smart boy tho cuz I adore Wendy's too :) Happy dancing 'bout that new GPS and your "sewing kit" below is gorgeous! God Bless :)

MARCIE said...

Great story Brenda, you always bring us insight about autism. I hope the GPS brings you the peace and security you need.

Claudia Schlottman said...

Thanks for this insightful - and funny - reminder of the trials of the parents of autistic kids. My nephew has Asperger's, so I know a little of what you speak. Well done, tackling a serious problem with humor.

Lora said...

wow--what a crazy story!

i've just begun giving private lessons in a studio that is branching into a new specialty with children across the autistic spectrum. i LOVE it, and am considering asking the studio owner to just assign me students that are autistic--instead of teaching voice and piano to our other clients.