I’m that mom who didn’t know.

I think that the first time that I noticed my daughter was different from her friends was at the park.

Our mom friends from her daycare class and neighborhood were able to talk and watch their kids play from afar. But I was running a marathon and even found myself climbing under the playground equipment after my then 2-year-old daughter.

I was exhausted and embarrassed. What was wrong with her, I wondered?

While everyone else was chatting, I ran around the monkey bars and dodged kids on swings to make sure my unaware child did not get kicked in the face.

I don’t know why any of this wasn’t a red flag to me at the time.

I remember a time when my mom called and wanted to take the kids to iPlay America near her house.

That was long before I knew about sensory meltdowns.

We have come such a long way since then. She hasn’t run into the street in a very long time, she listens at the park now but she still can’t ride a bike. Sometimes I still get upset because she is almost five and she wants to ride it so bad but doesn’t have the motor skills to steer and pedal simultaneously.

And I still have that stigma, that ready to run at all times mentality even though I haven’t had to run since last summer. The moment I let my guard down could be the time that she bolts again.

writer, advocate, educator

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