We have been following the story of young James Delorey age 7 the past few days. James died last night at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax after being found unconscious and suffering from hypothermia after wandering away from his home in Cape Breton.
James was autistic and i do know a bit about it after working with some clients for two decades that has it. It's tough at times to work with an Autistic client but to be the parents of a child with Autism must really be quite the task at times. Some people with autism can walk away, run away,or you can even say "escape" from a place even where they are well looked after. They do it without a reason and no clear understanding of what to really do next. It's just part of their behavior which can at times be unpredictable. A week ago we had an Autistic client in for surgery. When they took him into the O.R. area sedated a bit they told us to leave if we want because it would be several hours. We told the Operating Staff, no we could not. We asked them to come and tell us when he was sleeping and only then could we go. I don't think they really understood what could happen even in that situation. We have decades of experience with Autistic clients and we know from past experiences what can happen in just a few seconds. A lot of people might try and judge the parents unfairly in the case of young James Delorey and why he ran off but there are those of us who really know that this can happen at times and no one is to blame.