Yesterday, this article popped up on my Facebook news feed.
I have not been able to get that article out of my mind. As many of you know, Gracie, my eleven-year old daughter has autism. She is high functioning, yet I still worry for her. One month from tomorrow, she will start her first year in middle school. This scares me to death.
Gracie does not like to talk to people. This could be an Autism thing, or it could be “The apples does fall far from the tree” thing. Either way you slice it, she does not like to talk, unless she is in the comfort of her own home and her and her sister are arguing about who gets to go first…in anything.
Gracie is smart, she has her own way of doing things, she is a feisty little fire cracker, but will also close down if she does not like you or feel comfortable with you. If you ask her a question, it can not be a “yes” or “no” type of question, because all she will do is shake her head “yes” or “no” or just shrug her shoulders indicating that she does not know. She is in special ed, and will continue to be there throughout her school years.
I worry that bad people will take advantage of her not talking. I worry that when she is walking the halls of middle school some punk little 8th grader may try something….because she is more vulnerable. Sadly, I also worry about the teachers. Just read the article, watch the news, you never know who is out there trying to groom your children for their own sick satisfaction.
Other than being a daily nuisance at her new school (which I am very good at), I do not know how to protect her from bad people, while giving her room to spread her wings. It’s my job as her mother to protect her, to protect all my children. It is my job to make sure that while they are still living in this house, I protect them the best that I can.
What keeps me at night, will my best be enough to protect her? It’s a hard job being a parent, an even harder job parenting a child with autism. I have no answers, and learn as I go. With Gracie entering middle school in September, this will be a new chapter in my life, in her life. It’s so hard, so I take to this blog and I write. I write to get my feelings out, and hope someone out there may have some advice, something that I may have overlooked in all my hours of worrying.