The danger when your special needs child is doing well, is sometimes people let their guards down. Today was a school assembly. Riley played the recorder up on stage with the whole third grade(front row, blue shorts, pink top). She looked so cute and proud. The concert was for the school kids, and tonight there will be another one for the parents, but since we live just a street away, and since Todd was home from work (on vacation a.k.a. knee surgery) we decided to go to the daytime one too.
Riley's inclusion class has two teachers, one regular, one special ed, and both were at a conference today so she had two substitutes. I'm sure they were given the lo down on Riley, but heck she seems so typical!
They lost her.
When it was time to exit the stage Riley got confused. She went the wrong way and then her classmates were yelling (all ramped up) RILEY! RILEY! RILEY! and motioning her to go the right way, and she thought they were mad at her, because they were yelling at her. She exited the stage, (as the next class was going up) and filed out of the gym but when her class filed back in through the other door to watch the rest of the assembly, Riley wasn't with them, and neither teacher in charge noticed. The substitute teachers sat back down with the group without her.
I got up and looked down the hall. No Riley. I went back to the teachers and asked where she was, and the special ed sub looked around, panicked, and then went searching for her. I looked in the sensory room, she looked in the bathroom, the principal looked down the kindergarten wing. Finally an aide found her sobbing down in the the library wing. She ran. It happens. She got overwhelmed. She has Asperger's.
How long would it have been before anyone even thought to look for her?
I love Riley's school, and I'm not out to get anyone in trouble. It is a good school,with committed teachers. Things happen. People are human.
The support we've received from the overwhelming majority of people who have learned of our service dog effort has been overwhelming. Our hearts will be full of appreciation forever. To the few who think a service dog is a ridiculous idea for such a high functioning kid, perhaps you might consider the possibility you are wrong.