Autism…11 years old…indecently exposed.
Yesterday we visited our favorite swimming spot. I was prepared for Vincent's behavior: wanting to splash other children as an attempt to join the fun. I have to remind him over and over again to play nice and not to splash or roar loudly. What I wasn't ready for was to be asked to get out of the water by the park rangers. Someone had reported that Vincent had indecently exposed himself to other children. I was heartbroken and really stunned he had never done anything like that before. I apologized and told them he has autism and that I would definitely have a strong conversation with him. As I began to feel like crying through my explanation the male ranger seemed sympathetic however the female ranger was obviously angry. As if I wasn't horrified already she told me that I needed to be careful because if someone would have called the police instead of notifying them, he could have been arrested for indecent exposure.
We grabbed our items and my heart felt like it was going to explode all I wanted to do was to get out of there. Can we ever go back? This goes beyond teaching him personal space...has anyone had something like this happen? I asked Vincent why he did that I could not get a clear explanation but really I was just hoping to get one.
This morning I felt like crying and struggled to get out of bed. I am so scared of the future, of other people and disappointed with myself by not handling the situation with strength instead of fear. Vincent loves swimming in that park and we have been visiting for years. But now I'm thinking we cannot go back. So in addition I also feel guilt over possibly denying him from one of his few favorite activities.