A Nightmare Come True aka Autism and Hurricane Florence

If you are a special needs parent, then one of your biggest fears is chaos, I’m not talking about your child’s favorite cup being in the dishwasher, or his favorite episode of Friends being accidentally erased from the DVR.  I am talking about, not being able to plan a vacation  for fear that it will be ruined because your child may get over stimulated or have the meltdown of all meltdowns.

We this wasn’t a vacation….this was a hurricane!

Thankfully we had a few days to prepare before we were evacuated.  I stuffed huge plastic bags with blankets, sheets, stuffed animals and as many clothes as I could find.

Why would I pack everything in my linen closet and in my son’s drawers?  Because on top of being scared that we wouldn’t have a house to come back to, or that the house we were staying at may get hit harder and we may get injured. I was TERRIFIED that my incontinent  adult son, would wet through his Depends and urinate on our host’s furniture, and carpets.   Not only ruining someone else’s belongings, but running out of changes of clothes and linens that we would be unable to wash.  As well as the fear of him getting set off and being inconsolable.

So our Thursday started out with us loading our vehicles with pets and plastic bags.  I gave Buddy a bath, so that his routine wouldn’t be “off” as well as knowing it may be his last bath for a few days.

We stayed with family, so Buddy is comfortable at their home and they are familiar with him.  I brought some plastic mats that I made (Old flannel backed tablecloth cut in half and folded) and placed them (doubled up) with a throw blanket on top for extra absorption, on the couch where Buddy would sit for the next few days.

We brought air mattresses, and we took big trash bags and duct taped them to the mattress that Buddy would sleep on.  Then put a sheet over that.

I made sure he had several of his favorite belongings…pillows, toys and most important… his MP3 player,  my laptop and the Friend’s DVD collection.

Thankfully, there were no incidents or meltdowns.  We spent 6 days there and Buddy was near perfect.   I think he even tried not to pee.  There was one day that he didn’t urinate at all, which started to concern me, but he has since made up for it.  lol

I do have to say that for those 5 days,  we cuddled, held hands, rubbed heads and had some wonderful mother/son moments.

So,  90% of my anxiety was worrying about Buddy and how this experience was going to effect him.  When in fact, he was the easiest part of it all!

Safe, sound and home, in our own beds.

~ASM

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