Stop!

I love this picture.

Colby at a stop sign. Let me clarify. Colby STOPPED at a stop sign.

Stopped.

Waiting.

Waiting, unasked and unpromted, for me to catch up with him.

Wandering is a huge problem for the autism community. Last month, Liz Feld, President of Autism Speaks, reported that 50% of those living with autism are wanderers. Since 2011, 42 people with autism have died because of wandering.

As a child, Colby would walk for miles and never look back. He simply took off – and we scrambled after him.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is not just used to teach shapes and letters. ABA can be used to teach almost anything … including the process of stopping and waiting. I am so grateful for the wonderful therapists who practiced with him, over and over, gradually increasing seconds of time and inches of distance.

This picture represents a skill that I once thought Colby would never obtain, a skill that I now almost take for granted.

Almost …