I want my son to increase his fine motor skills. I do not, however, want him to be able to unbuckle a seatbelt. When your disabled child acquires a new skill, sometimes it is a mixed blessing. Particularly if that new skill puts them in danger. They now have the fine motor skills to open a seat belt (yay!) but do not have the desire or behavioral skills to leave the seat belt on when the car is moving.
So what do you do?
As my friend Judi often says, you either teach the skill or accommodate the lack of skill.
In this case, I am making accommodations.
When Kevin was a baby, he didn’t have a natural curiosity that many babies and toddlers have. Or, he may have had the curiosity but not the motor planning skills to make it happen. We never had to even baby proof the house. My how times change!
Autism Safety and Emergency Plans
Several years ago, I was a Fellow for Save the Children. My role with them was to inform and encourage disability families to create an Emergency Plan. I don’t know why it hasn’t caught on, but it hasn’t. Still, I continue to education (read: nag!) parents about this.
We all worry about how to keep our kids safe. But when they have autism, are non-verbal or rely on others for mobility, our fears are exacerbated. Parents of disabled children need to develop safety plans, with much more urgency than our non-disabled peers. These plans should be based on how well your child can communicate, health needs, and sensory issues.
Having a family emergency plan is critical! It can help you to find your child if he/she goes missing. An emergency plan also serves to reunite you with your child in the event of a natural disaster or school shooting. The first step in your plan should be increasing awareness both in your child and the community. If your child is not verbal or would have trouble telling others that he or she is lost, a bracelet or other product can give adults helpful information. f your child is an eloper, make sure that all family, caregivers, and school staff know this. Talk with your neighbors and local police about your child’s tendency to wander and make sure that they have up to date information. Here in PA, we have the Premise Alert System (started by my friend Susan!). Many of our police departments recognize this, but it’s a great form to take to your local police and fire stations, even if you’re not in PA.Premise-Alert-Form
Teaching Autism Safety Skills
Have regular and frequent safety talks with your child. Many children with autism learn from repetition, so repeating rules and procedures may work for you. It’s important to be aware of comorbid conditions, so that information is presented in a way that doesn’t exacerbate conditions like anxiety.
Parents should do this on their own, and no rely on a school to make this happen. There are just too many issues with IEP non-compliance, and safety is too important of an issue. If your child is in a Life Skills Program or another non-traditional curriculum, it may be easier to get this added to the IEP. Regardless, parents should make sure that this happens and the only way to ensure that is if we do it.
I don’t know of any specialist or expert who does evaluations in this area. I think it’s going to all be on Mom and Dad. But you want to make sure that your child is safe in your car and on their ride to/from school. My bus company had to purchase a special seat for Kevin. And I know that they purchased a harness for another child. Like anything else, if you want it in your IEP, follow the process. Note it in parent concerns, discuss it at the IEP meeting, and then get it on a PWN.
Autism Car and Seatbelt Safety
Your child’s needs will determine what you purchase. Research what you can online. Ask your local police department or transportation department. You can find just about everything. There are seatbelt covers, stickers and decals for cars, harnesses, seat belt buckle covers and other products that disable door handles. You can also call the customer service number of your car manufacturer and ask if they have something.
Seat Belt Locking Clips
These are a necessity for a lot of kids. For some, just putting a lock over the seatbelt buckle will do the trick. But, some kids have the dexterity to get them open. In which case, you may want to try a harness that fastens in the back.
Make sure you practice using it. In the event of an emergency, you want to be able to release it quickly. Still, I believe most police officers and EMTs will tell you that a seatbelt is much more important than the risk of not being able to unbuckle it quickly.
Free Autism Safety Kit
Hopefully what I’ve shown you here will get you started on getting what you need. Thankfully most of these products are inexpensive. I know that the NAA offers a free kit for home safety, but I was unable to find a grant or free program for car safety.
Autism Safety Products
Have regular and frequent safety talks with your child. Many children with autism learn from repetition, so repeating rules, expectations, and plans can be beneficial. When you teach safety rules, make sure to list where to use the rules, such as school, the park, or a store. If your child likes to wander or likes to play in water, make sure to spend extra time talking about those safety rules.
Having a plan can help you to find your child if he or she is missing. The first step in your plan should be increasing awareness both in your child and those around him or her.
Have your child practice what to do if he or she is lost. If your child is not verbal or would have trouble telling others that he or she is lost, a bracelet or other product can give responders helpful information. Make sure your child practices how to show the product.
If your child tends to wander away, make sure that all family, caretakers, and school staff know of this pattern. Give them a plastic-coated card with your child’s name, current picture, diagnosis, emergency contact numbers, and what your child does and does not respond well to. Also talk to your neighbors and local police about your child’s tendency to wander and give them the same up-to-date information. Most police stations have systems, such as the PREMISE Alert System, where you can submit a file for your child with special needs and include important information for responders.
Water is another top safety concern. Check all gates, pool covers, toilet locks, and any other safety devices, especially if your child is drawn to water. When your child can start swimming lessons varies, but being able to swim independently is only one benefit of lessons. Children also learn basic water safety rules through early childhood swim programs. Many programs offer adaptive swim lessons for children with autism. These programs are a great way for your child to learn about water safely and comfortably.
Keep in mind that this list is their top sellers. This is also ‘bot-generated’ and updated based upon sales, not my personal opinion of the product.
- Get the most multipurpose locks for a variety of storage spaces or kitchen appliances at a bargain basement-price
- What You Get: 12 multi-purpose cabinet locks that has a high grade 3M adhesive. Flexible strap means you can bend around items from toilet seats to fridges
- Adult-Friendly Tech: Quick for adults but a nightmare fr toddlers! Like you, we're tired of cabinet locks that are strenuous for adults. And best thing is installation takes seconds!
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- ❤【Key-Lock Design】Dr.meter Lock Design ensure that child cannot get rid of anti lost wristbands unless parents unlock the lock (on the child's side) with 2 included keys
- ❤【2-pack Safety Wristbands】Two is better than one. Blue link can extend up to 8.2 feet, orange link can extend up to 4.92 feet. Both perfect for keeping little ones close by but with more freedom to roam. The upgraded extended cuffs' size will fit all wrists
- ❤【Comfy and Secure】Ultra-soft, breathable sponge padding and round-cornered velcro straps protects wrists from uncomfortable scratching and sweat while holding the safety wrist cuffs in place
- ❤【High Quality Steel Cord】The thickened steel wire is coated in great PU. It will recoil automatically but won't break, crack. It's a must have leashes for your feisty, energetic kids at outdoors
- ❤【Rotatable and Reflective】Built-in reflective tape keeps your child safe in the dark, while a 360 degree swivel clip allows free and flexible movement. Your kids will stay safe without feeling constricted
- Your words, custom engraved, up to 7 lines of 18 characters
- Use the CUSTOMIZE NOW button to specify the words to be engraved on the tag and to select tag color. There are 2 panels you need to update.
- Black silicone rubber wristband fits wrists from 6" to 10". Excess material can be trimmed with scissors. TOO LARGE FOR MOST INFANTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN. Non-Removable, Temporary Vinyl Wristbands can be purchased by searching for item B09MV7QTW4
- Tags are 1" by 2" and are made of chrome-plated or gold-plated brass. Laser engraving is permanent and appears brown on the tag
- IS IT NEW OR USED? We have tags and wrist bands manufactured for us in large quantities. These are brand new items. We laser engrave the tags as you request. The tag is manually curved, assembled and packaged in a plastic bag (see last photo). These items have been touched, but are still new, never before sold items. During shipping, on very rare occasions, postal equipment may cause damage to the product. If that occurs, please message us to rectify the issue.
- Includes Four Safety Alerts - two white removable static cling and two white permanent decals. Each is 4 inches by 3 inches
- Made In The USA, the clings are applied inside to be viewed from outside and the decals are applied to the outside.
- Providing Help In An Emergency, the red and black text is easy to read by first responders
- You'll receive four safety alerts to be prepared for your home's front and back doors and in your cars.
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- ✅ QUALITY: This UV Protected Laminated Sticker is great for Indoor or Outdoor Use. Weather and Sun Resistant Laminate allows for a Long Life even in the Outdoors
- ✅ Size: 4”x 4”. One (1) Piece
- ✅ Autism Awareness: Car Sticker Decal for Car Window, Truck
- ✅ ABOUT US: Decals Home Decor & More, is a company owned and operated by veterans of the US military. These products are proudly made in the USA. We strive to provide our customers with high-quality items at an affordable price.
- ✅ FADE RESISTANT: Laminated and printed with UV protective ink to ensure vibrant long lasting colors.
- Approximately 3.75" wide x 5" high- removable and reusable on clean surfaces
- Use on anything! machines, doors, vehicles, or just for decoration!
- 3M premium quality vinyl - Indoor / outdoor use - Weatherproof / Waterproof
- Laminated for added glossy protection - Up to 7 year lifespan - UV protected - bold color
- "AUTISTIC OCCUPANTS IN VEHICLE" - decal sticker
- Suitable occasions: this children safety ID wristband can be worn when children participate in outdoor activities such as children's parties, school hiking, summer camp, shopping with parents, beach trips and so on
- Convenient to use: first, fill in important contact information such as name and telephone number on the safety bracelet, then adjust the length of the wristband to fit the child's wrist and wear this bracelet, which helps to ensure the safety of children
- Adjustable: the size of children safety ID wristband is approx. 7.8 x 0.9 inch/ 19 .5x 2.3 cm, there is a button on the wristband to adjust the length, which makes it easy for you to choose a safe and comfortable size for your child
- What you get: we will provide 14 pieces identification bracelets with different patterns for you to use, the reusable ID band is enough for you to use in various occasions
- Safe material: the identification wristband is made of PVC, it is also waterproof, suitable for children to use in various occasions such as swimming pool, playground and so on, and safe enough to close to the child's skin
- Adjustable, soft head band and cushioned ear cups create a comfortable fit from toddler to teen.
- Great for infants or babies who need extra hearing protection due to sensory sensitivity, autism or aspergers.
- Stylish and unique, Muted’s hearing protection headphones come in fashionable patterns that your kids will want to wear.
- Ear muffs are lightweight and collapse to an easy packing size to go wherever life takes you.
- Hearing protection for kids that’s perfect for sporting events, airplanes, concerts, fireworks and life's everyday loud noises. Ear muffs are rated to 27db, and meets ANSI requirements.
- Quality Materials: the belt covers are made of faux leather and provide considerable comfort; The reliable material enables the seat belt shoulder pads to cushion the impact on your chest, collarbone and neck during emergency braking or even accidents, protecting yourself and your loved ones
- Save Time: these awareness car seat covers save valuable time by providing important medical information to first responders or emergency personnel immediately, especially when a parent or guardian is unable to respond
- Easy to Use: no extra tools needed, you can just wrap the special needs seatbelt covers around the harness and slide them into the suitable position for you, very easy to adjust, removable, washable and very easy to clean
- Wide Range of Applications: the seat belt covers can be easily installed on the shoulder belt of most models; They are suitable for both adult and child trucks and are useful for car seats, child seats, refrigerator handles, and more
- Package Quantity: the package comes with 2 pieces of seat belt covers in different styles, in proper size of 22.5 x 7 cm/ 8.86 x 2.76 inches (folded), suitable for most models of car
- ❤[Comes with 2 filters!][Fashionable and Comfortable]:The masks are made of 100% polyester. So, they're soft on the face while helping to protect the wearer from dust. Adjustable soft nose clip design fits the face better. And they give a unique and fashionable look to the wearer. Great for raving!
- ❤[One Size Fits All]:This unisex face mask features stretchy earloops, so they will fit all sizes of adults (and boys and girls). They fit closely and securely, so they're easy to wear and will stay on during activities like dancing. Good breathability, so its also suitable for cycling, camping, running, traveling, climbing and daily use.(non-medical mask)
- ❤[Reusable and Easy to Clean]: Our masks are made of quality materials and are designed to be used over and over. Simply hand wash them & they're ready for reuse.
- ❤[Color won't Fade]:Unlike a cheap mouth mask for kids, this longlasting quality version will retain its dark black and white color after many washings. Other mask coloring may fade, but this cute mask will keep its charming anime design looking great!
- ❤[After-sales]: We have a professional customer service team. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions during the purchase process. We will reply to your email within 12 hours to help you solve the problem.【We are "Eric and Alex", thank you for visiting our store~Click on the brand "LIULI" to find more styles~】
- Door Chime Kit-Include 1 hub receiver, 3 vibration detectors, 1 door alarm sensor. Alert you when your toddler get up at night and slip out of bedroom. Let you know when your pets leave/entry house. Gives you peace of mind, knowing that your children/pets are moving.
- Patients/Seniors Safety-Door alarms for dementia patients/senior. Caregiver pager, push button of the vibration detector as caregiver call button, for elderly patients disabled.
- Drop Alert-Whenever the vibration detector senses drop movements, it will activate the alarm on the Hub. Therefore, you can easily lean it against the bottom of any type door without installation and be notified when the door open making the detector dropping.
- Vibration and Tilt Alert-The vibration detector can also detect vibration and tilt movements when it is attached to an object. Therefore, you can attach the detector to pets door, drawers, the item that you don`t want your kids to touch and be notified if any movement is detected from the detector.
- Easy to Use-No wiring and tools are needed! No need any app, simple operation.14 Melodies, the different sensor with different chime. 3 volume levels and mute mode, female voice prompt operation.The operate range is 250ft in open area. In addition, if you have any questions, please contact us.
More Autism Safety Resources:
- A Guide to Safety, from the Organization for Autism Research
- CHOP Safety Center
- Safety in the Home, from the Autism Society of America
- Philadelphia Police Premise Disability Form
- Chester County Premise Online Form
- General Premise Alert Form, approved in PA
- Premise Alert Form, Spanish
- Vacation Premise Alert Form
- PA Premise Alert FAQ
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