On Wedesday night I noted but didn't act quickly enough regarding the (in hindsight) obvious signs of distress Charlie was sending out: asking for Jim (who was working till late) as soon as he heard mention of him at 6pm; repeated request for McDonalds as soon as he had eaten his dinner; insistent consumption of a bowl of blueberries and a small bunch of grapes; stares with a certain glassy eye-ness. We keep some medication on hand when something extreme can happen but I gave it to Charlie too late -- his heart rate must have been soaring -- and had to ask my mother to call 911.
As it is the end of January, we are just a bit it into the spring semester and it was at precisely this point in time that, last fall, Charlie went similarly into crisis around 4-something pm on a Wednesday afternoon and I called 911.
Charlie stayed seated in a corner of the blue couch for all but a few intense moments this time and one policeman came in and was calming and another waited outside. Again, they didn't have the lights of their car on. The medication got into Charlie's system and he was calming well when they left and remained so for the rest of the evening.
He has had a string of good days at school; on Wednesday, Charlie had gotten off the bus smiling. He has been enjoying my parents' visit (and it also should have occurred to me that, Wednesday being a few days before their departure, he would be nervous). There was definitely a stomach issue on Wednesday and I was preemptive but not with (obviously) everything.
Parental lag, it was, and a potent reminder that, even when there are words, misunderstanding (and not only in the case of Charlie!) can ever still occur.