Monday, March 26, 2012

Safety Solutions For Autism and other Developmental Disabilities

After our big scare the other night I have upped my previously tightly secure home to that comparable to Fort Knox.  In doing this, I thought others might be able to benefit from my research, especially parents to kids that are newly diagnosed.  Our lives are often so busy that having the time research and put together the proper resources can be a daunting challenge for parents. So, below I have listed a few things that can be done to help make life safer and less stressful for for autism parents.

Items shown below are examples only and not necessarily promoted for brand or site.

Alarms and Gadgets For the Home:

Wireless Door Alarm/Chime This is what we have and it works well, installs without tools and the chime (receiver) can be plugged into any room you choose, or even unplugged, if you want to silence it for a short time.  I can hear it on both floors of our home.

Wireless Window/Door Alarm  This is what we bought for the windows.  We bought the 3 pack, plus door.  I haven't used to the door alarm yet, but plan on putting it on our back door.  The alarms are interchangeable, as far as I can tell (meaning you can use them for either windows or doors) and are very, very loud.  So far, they have worked well. Beans has opened the windows a few times, and the alarm definitely let is know!

Baby Monitors  I know this one seems to be pretty much easy to figure out, but I thought I'd list it anyway. I use one that has more than one monitor, so that I can put it on different floors and rooms of the house. That way, I can always hear what's happening in the next room.  Even though my youngest child is over eight, I know that I will need to keep utilizing monitors for many yrs to come.

Baby Gates  This one is one that not all households will need.  I have 4 in our house, one to guard the upstairs, the kitchen, the bathroom and utility room.  Any of those places could be dangerous if Beans got in unsupervised, even just for a few seconds.

Furniture Straps These are a must.  We used them with Bubby, who was a serious climber, and now for Beans, to ensure nothing heavy ever falls over on him. Very inexpensive and well worth the peace of mind.

Cabinet locks The ones in the link are the exact kind that we have.  I bought some when my daughter was a baby to lock the fish aquarium cabinet and I am still have and use the same ones today.  They've lasted a good 13 yrs and she still can't get them undone when they're on tightly, none of my kids can!  They're not convenient, but they will keep your kids out of any cabinet you put them on!

Screen Door With a Deadbolt The screen door in the picture is the one we own.  It's very difficult to unlock, but not impossible for Beans.  It's pricey, but worth the money.

Identification and Emergency Awareness:

Medical ID Bracelets   I ordered one of these for Beans with the first clasp option, as it looks the hardest to undo.  On the front I have his first and last name, Nonverbal Autism, and on the back our address, and family cell numbers.

Short range child locator 

Temporary Tattoos 

Child Harness We don't have to use ours that much anymore, but there was a time when it was necessary for Bean's safety to use a harness.

My husband and I also made a little info sheet with Beans picture on it to take to the local police station.  It just basically says his name, address and states that he is nonverbal/ autistic.  We live in a very small town and just assumed that all the officers around here (all 4 or 5 of them) pretty well knew who we were. The one on duty that found Beans was new, so we thought a little info sheet for the police station would be a good idea.

Also, if you live in the US you should go to This Site and fill out a profile for your whole family.  Smart911 is a wonderful site that allows you to already have your address, detailed instructions to your home, your vehicle and plate number, as well as a photo and details of every member in your family already on file, so that in an emergency emergency responders can already have this info without wasting precious moments for you to fill them in.  There is even a place to put special instructions.  I put a few things, like Beans loves water, so in the event of him wandering they can know that info ASAP and begin to search near water. There's no time to waste when you have a child with no sense of danger wandering by themselves.  Smart911 allows you to share vital info with first responders without you having to verbally relay this info, thus saving precious time in the search for your loved one.

I had these stickers made for our front door, the boy's window and both sides of our van window.  This is mostly to warn first responders in case of an emergency that there are special children involved that need special care. I know that in the event of a fire it's unlikely Beans would try to leave the house, or respond to a firefighter coming to rescue him.  It's likely Bubby would, but then would not think to alert anyone that his brother is still inside. The stickers were only like $5.00.  

My mother in law made this shirt for Beans.  It's a good idea for when you might be going out to the zoo, or somewhere where he mat get lost in the crowd.  Though, the print came off after a couple of washings.  I'm thinking that if one was to get these made it would be best to go to a professional.