You know when you were younger and you did something real stupid because your mates told you to? And then your mum would say ‘if your mates told you to jump off a cliff would you do it? Obviously you got her point and knew you wouldn’t do anything too silly because you understood the difference between silly… and silly silly!
Well this is my son Jacob. He is 16 and autistic. He doesn’t understand the difference between silly silly. If someone tells Jacob to do something and he thinks they will like him because of this, then Jacob does it. No matter how dangerous.
A group of Jacobs ‘friends’ told Jacob to go and pick up a deodorant can that had been chucked into a fire. Jacob did it. He didn’t understand what would happen and everyone thought it was funny.
The can blew up in my sons face. His head caught on fire. They all laughed. NOBODY called an ambulance. Nobody called me. NOBODY walked him home. Nobody tried to put out the fire on his head. He ran into Tesco’s holding his blistering face and ran his head under the hot tap because he didn’t know which one to use because he couldn’t see.
NOBODY asked him if he was okay. NOBODY stopped him and asked him if he needed help. Jacob then walked home. I heard the screams as he walked up to the house.
Jacob was rushed to RVI (Royal Victoria Infirmary) burns unit last night. Luckily he only has 1st degree burns to his face. His hair is singed and he has black eyes from the impact. He also has a bruise and cut to his thigh where the can hit him so hard it cut open his leg. If that had hit him in the face my son could be blind.
I am writing this to ask you to not only remind your children of their own safety but also be considerate of those more vulnerable than themselves. Jacob got off lightly. He had a lucky escape. So did the people who encouraged him to do something so obviously silly when it is dangerous. Because if he had not been so lucky this might have had a permanent impact on everyone involved.
Be kind. Don’t just be kind to yourself but be kind to people who need you to be kind to them. And teach your children to look after the kids that need looking after and are a bit ‘different’
It’s an important lesson. One that we could all do with remembering.
Please share this to raise awareness of the dangers of playing with fire and also those people in a less fortunate position than yourselves.
Thanks to everyone that helped with Jacob last night.