Today we discuss a fear all parents have, whether that fear is occasional or constant, we all have the fear… the headline reads “MISSING” The thought of my child missing makes me shutter with fear and panic. Hearing that someone’s child is missing makes me hug mine closer and pray for the family, and when it hits in your hometown it sends waves of shock and fear throughout your body.
For those of you that follow my Facebook page, Moms Bookshelf & More or are friends with me on Facebook, you no doubt have an inkling what I am talking about. Wednesday afternoon an eleven year old boy with autism was reported missing from rural East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Growing up I spent a lot of time just yards from where he lived, at my cousins home. That entire strip of Rhinehart Drive was our playground. We were all friends with the neighborhood kids, we played with each other, we fought with each other, we rode snowmobile with each other and eventually partied with each other. It has been years since I lived in the area but it’s full of memories.
The community came out in force to assist with the search for this little boy, some volunteers searching throughout the night, in a rural area with temps into the sixties and fifties. The entire city of East Grand Forks, MN and Grand Forks, North Dakota were searching, praying and posting to spread the word. The search lasted until 4:30pm yesterday when Anthony Kuznia’s body was found….
And a community wept.
As we all came together in our various forms to spread the word, join the search, drive the streets, and of course surround the family, we must now all come together to honor Anthony Kuznia and his grieving family.
The question must be asked, can we prevent this in the future? Is there something we can do to protect our children, and children with disabilities? What can we do, what type of options are out there for us as parents? Fingerprinting and ID cards are great, but in the event like this should there be something more?
Our two year old has been known to escape our house. We have always caught him immediately, but the thought has since terrified me. We took drastic steps to prevent his little antics by alarming all the doors, adding locks out of reach, and even going so far as to purchase a proximity alarm bracelet. His bracelet will alarm if he is too far from the central unit, a great little system for children like him. Ideas like these are fantastic for younger children, but what do we do for older kids, the kids that can unarm those devices and reach the locks?
I think it is time to address the ever controversial hidden tracker device. Maybe it is sewn into your child’s shoes, or a favorite ball cap, an earring, a pair of glasses, anything that your child would wear every day. Most would argue it the parent’s duty to teach your child to stay within the confines of the allowed area, or that the parents need to watch their children better, or other numerous arguments. But, we all need to set our judgments and beliefs aside, step off our horses and realize accidents happen, and it only takes a second. We must be proactive about this issue and protect our kids. Children with disabilities often do not understand the concept of danger in varying forms and degrees.
As a parent with a child that has no fear or understanding of danger I proudly stand behind tracking devices. We put them in and on our dogs and pets, why would we not do the same for our high risk children. I am all for devices sewn into shoes, hats, jackets, back packs and other items.
This all in the face of tragedy and heart break, the town wept. They sunk back to their families with tears in their eyes and their hearts heavy as they hugged their family tight while the lives of Anthony’s family is traumatized and grieving. May you Rest in Peace Anthony Kuznia, and your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
What are your thoughts? What is your stance?