Number 12

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

He has no fear and I have too much

There is a list floating around the web called “The 14 Signs of Autism.”  Number 12 on the list is “no real fear of dangers.”  

If someone had given me an instruction manual when Tyler was born, number 12 would have been highlighted, circled, and starred; because my son really doesn’t have a fear of danger.

When he was little, he climbed.  He climbed gates, he climbed out of his crib, and he climbed chairs to get things in cupboards. He opened up his bedroom window during naptime and had his legs dangling out of it when I went up to get him.  I was out of the room for less than 1 minute, and he climbed my TV stand, got a bottle of CD cleaner and he must have been thirsty, because he drank it.  The people at poison control are amazing!  

We used to have a pool in our neighborhood, and I would take the kids down every day in the summer to swim.  One day, Tyler didn’t want to get out.  I finally coaxed him onto the deck, took his swimmies off and turned to put them in our bag.  I turned around just in time to see him jump into the deep end.  When I dove in to get him, he was sitting on the bottom, not panicking, just sitting there waiting.

He walked into the ocean and didn’t stop when the water was over his head.  He stuck a fork in an outlet and popped the breaker; not once, but three times. 

He has bolted in parking lots, and thinks it’s funny to just disappear in stores.  He sees nothing wrong with getting a knife and sawing through a piece of cardboard that’s sitting on his lap.

This is our reality. 

He has no fear, and I have too much.