9 Safety Tips For Autism Parents
1. TEACH SAFETY RULES
Teach safety rules to the best of your ability. I reinforce safety rules with Niam as much as I can, at every opportunity. I have him look both ways when crossing streets, reinforce red means stop, green means go, have him identify moving cars in parking lots and, sidewalks are for walking not roads. You can only do your best here. Use pecs,flashcards, videos, stories, role playing, games, and, real opportunities to teach. It is never too late or early to start.
2. INSTALL A HOME ALARM AND KEEP IT ON ALL THE TIME
Installing a home alarm can help prevent wandering and, notify you if your child decides to leave the house. My own son left a few years back and, ever since that frightful day, it is a rule in our house to have the alarm on 24 hours.
3. REGISTER YOUR CHILD AT YOUR LOCAL POLICE STATION
Register your child at your local police station. Some stations have forms to be filled out, with picture and details about your child including level of speech, sensory issues, likes, dislikes, and other pertinent information. If the station does not have a form, please download this form.
More forms at www.able2learn.com
4. GET A MEDICAL ALERT BRACELET
The medical alert bracelet is very important. In case of emergency, the bracelet can alert the person responding to your child of the diagnosis of autism and, any other related medical issues. I have included our phone number on Niam’s bracelet.
5. GET A TRACKING DEVICE
There are different types of tracking devices available, choose one that is appropriate for your family and budget. Different products are available such as GPS watches ( SAMSUNG GEAR S2 WATCH) , shoes and bracelets. If your child is a technology junkie and, carries a tablet or phone everywhere they go, download an app to track their whereabouts and movements.
6. BE AWARE OF DANGER ZONES
Make a note of all danger zones around your house, and places you frequent with your child. If your child wanders, know the danger zones including bodies of water, busy intersections in the vicinity.
7. BE AWARE ALL PLACES YOUR CHILD LOVES
Make a note of all places your child loves to go in your neighbourhood, in the mall, at grandma’s house, or anywhere your frequent with your child. If your child wanders, the child may be making his way to a place he loves to go or to something he is attracted to. My son wandered in the shopping mall and, we eventually found him watching a movie at the Cinema. When I reached there in tears with the security guard, the Manager said calmly, “Don’t worry ma’am we have your son, he is in Cinema 3 watching a movie”
8. NOTIFY PEOPLE WHO ARE THE CLOSEST TO HIM
Make a note of all people who are close to your son, including neighbours , teachers friends. If your child wanders or is lost, the people closest to him will, not only come to help you find him, but will know about his habits, likes, dislikes and know how to approach him.
9. KEEP A PRINTOUT " ABOUT YOUR SON" ALWAYS READY AND IN A HANDY PLACE
This may seem extreme but, in times of crisis, you would be surprised what information you may forget to share. This form should have favourite items, items your child maybe attracted to, dislikes, how to approach, speech level, related health issues and, and other information you feel is important. Keep updating the file regularly with an up to date picture.
The Autism Speaks Canada blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks Canada’s beliefs or point of view.