November 30, 2009

House of Locks

Two weeks ago Chandler got out. He was outside with his dad raking leaves and got over (or under or through?) the back fence. Police were called, loving neighbors fanned out, Chandler was found safe, I spent the rest of the day having flashbacks of Ashley's death and a small nervous break down while my dear husband spent it chicken wiring the backyard.

This week out of the blue I got a facebook message from a cheerful young man named Fidel Cabral. He sent me a poem and I wanted to share it with you.

Hello! I am Fidel. Nice to meet you. How are you today?
I am an adult with autism. I was diagnosed when I was in preschool.
Do you have friends/family members with autism?
I have a poem to send you on autism entitled "House Of Locks"...

I hope I can be your facebook friend in the near future and would love to discuss topics related to autism in the near future.
Please send me a reply. Thanks :)

House Of Locks

You know our house on the block,
it's the one they call the house of locks.
We're not worried about what may come in,
What scares us, is what lives within.

No, it's not a monster or a ghost,
but keep on guessing you're getting close.
On every window and door there is a lock,
to keep inside what it is we can not block.

I remember the day my fear began,
the day that we could not find him.
We searched our yard near and far,
and then we found him in the car.

100 degrees or maybe hotter,
quick let's get him in cold water.
No response, to the hospital we go,
"Why", is what the docs wanted to know.

No, we did not put him there,
we tried to make this very clear.
Then we told them what lives within,
we told them docs, "Our son has autism."

Then it seemed they understood,
and did all that they possibly could.
Thank God, our son is doing fine,
and now the house of locks is mine.

I may have to commission a follow up called, "Backyard of Chickenwire".


Tom said...


I hope you come to the day when you don't need the chicken wire.

Three and a half years ago, we had a moment with Noah--more than a moment--he was gone for more than an hour, and I couldn't believe how far he got in that hour.

We no longer live with this fear. . .he's come a long way since then.

I'm glad that Chandler is safe and sound. It would be great to hear more about good things he's doing!

Despite ongoing difficulties, I try to remember what Noah tells us: "Spend more time talking about my good points, and less time talking about my bad points!" (Something I need to work on more than I have.)


Ginger Taylor said...

Night before last Chandler was in line to see Santa. He bumped the woman in front of him, and she turned around and smiled at him.

He looked up at her and announced, "I fart bubbles!"

Nostalchick said...

Thank you for sharing about something only us parents with spectrum kids know. You have to unlearn so many things it seems, with autism. The assumption that your child doesn't want to leave you or that they will be afraid if lost.
I thought I would get used to that, but I never really did. Oh and when other people are with them- they need this training too.
I will tell you that in my case, it did get better. The worst years were 2-6 now at 10 we've come a long way. Hands free, walking in public. So, there is hope!
This is coming from a mom who's son did not engage with her till 5 yrs old and that was because I did something he liked. A mom who could never let go of her 3 yr old in public even with a younger sibling in tow.
There's hope!

Blessed2BaMommy said...

We live bolted in as well. We can't go anywhere that isn't "secured" either. Once we briefly "lost" our oldest at someone's house party; we looked all over in a panic - no one cared or was concerned. We found him thank God; he was well, sitting in the front of the house which was on a very busy road. We don't go to these things much if at all anymore!

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

Ginger I'm so sorry. We had to fence our yard, door chimes, hotel locks. Gianna was ran out to a neighbors, opened their door and was found jumping on their bed. She was three and we hadn't learned that dairy made her bolt in pain - literally bolt out of any room she was in. But nah, we don't need treatments or cures for our kids. Just chickenwire, right? It's why we keep working as hard as we do, Ginger. To protect our kids. Hugs.


sonja said...


My daughter was quite the escape artist when she was younger. She figured out all the locks we tried. I was so terrified of loosing her at night while sleeping that I slept on a mattress on the floor on the inside of her bedroom door. She would have to crawl over me to get out. It was the only way I could get a decent nights sleep. You are right Kim, with bio-med she improved so much that I could sleep with my husband again. There is nothing like that feeling of finding them when they are lost...literally and figuratively.

mom said...

We lost our son for over 5 hours while camping in MT. I can never thank the Search & Rescue team that helped find him safe & sound enough. The fear of mountain lions & bears was replaced by the fear of someone leaving a door or window unlocked in our home. At 5 years old, our son has improved by we still keep things locked up tight! I love the poem you friend shared! God bless you!