I’m supposed to be getting ready.
I’m meeting a fellow autism mom at 1.
Instead, I’m sitting at my kitchen table, my heart aching as I try to process the news about Avonte Oquendo.
Remains which were found near the school where he vanished on October 4th, 2013 were confirmed to be his by the medical examiner today.
I try to imagine what his family is feeling. What his mother is feeling.
I picture my Andrew, at school right now, 100% dependent on the competence and caring and dedication of others to keep him safe.
The video of Avonte running down an empty school hallway and through a security door plays out in my head.
I think of how close my Andrew’s school is to the freeway.
How far from home he suddenly feels.
How fragile he is.
How shitty and unfair this tragedy is.
How absolutely preventable it was.
How all us who have children who wander never really sleep at night, do we?
How our minds and hearts are never at ease, how we never know what it’s like to take a deep breath and just trust that everything will be okay.
I think about the incompetence that led to the death of this precious boy, a boy who could not fend for himself out in a world that failed him
and I crumble.
This fellow autism mom and I are meeting for the very first time today.
I know we already have so much in common
but of all these things, it will be FEAR that we will simultaneously cling to as we mourn Avonte.
*Please spare a few moments and sign this petition. We need consequences for incompetence! Children’s lives are at stake. Enough is ENOUGH. Avonte’s death was entirely preventable and those responsible need to be held accountable! The utter ineptitude by school personnel is mind-boggling. Our children deserve better!
Rest in peace, sweet boy.