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Car seat question...Autistic child.

My niece is 5, and still in a car seat due to her height. The seat has a 5 point harness. When my sister straps her in, my niece folds her arms out of the shoulder part of the harness so she is now only strapped in at her waist. My sister lets her do this instead of tightening the harness so she can't. She doesn't see why she should have to listen to her daughter freak out every time they drive somewhere just so she is properly strapped in.

P.S. For all the mother's of autistic kids that love to say "You don't have an autistic child, so mind your own business." well, I would rather not have to see my sweet little niece snapped in half by her belt if they get into a car accident. I think it is everyone's business to make sure kids are safe, whether they are theirs or someone else's. I am not demeaning mother's of autistic kids. I am concerned about the safety of a child in my life that I love.

And yes, I have voiced my concerns to my sister, who has answered that "If she were in a regular seat she could unstrap herself all the way and then she'd be running around the car while I drove. It's better than nothing."

Maybe "its better than nothing" but I would rather listen to my kid scream and know they are safe than to allow them to do something that could get them seriously hurt or killed. My son hates his car seat too, but he doesn't scream any more because he knows that whether he screams or not, he is getting strapped in and he can't get out.

Please help with advice, moms. Should I talk to her again? What should I say?


Asked by Anonymous at 12:22 PM on Jul. 11, 2011 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • Dealing with a child with Autism is COMPLETELY different then a "normal" child.
    While your son has learned not to scream, your niece may never get it!
    I understand your concern about your niece's safety.
    I personally believe that she is safer in the carseat the way she is then to be completely "safe" and strapped in, SCREAMING!
    I believe it is more dangerous to have a distracted driver!

    Answer by MomOfDagJag at 12:35 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • as a parent of an autistic child i say instead of demeaning her parenting skills (because believe thats how she feels)......offer to help her find a car see they can both be happy with.....


    Answer by cara124 at 12:38 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • There are carseats for kids with autism that they can't get out of (because they buckle behind them). If your niece doesn't learn to wear the belts in the carseat, what about when she gets out of a booster seat? It will be much easier for her to unsnap her seatbelt.

    Answer by missanc at 1:30 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Sorry, I would also tell you to mind you own business if you're going to just confront her and make her feel like a bad mother. Telling her that her actions will cause her child to be snapped in half isn't going to win you the "caring and concerned" family member award. If you want to research the issue and suggest another type of car seat, that's fine. I could be wrong, but I honestly didn't think you were required to have a 5 point harness at age 5, unless she's incredibly small.

    Answer by Telephus44 at 3:01 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Wow, all I can say is that every time I have asked a question about my niece, I have been attacked my the mothers of other autistic kids who think I "Just don't know what I am talking about." I guess you all just don't love your kids enough to see that they are safely restained in the car. I love my child enough to take proper care of him. This isn't an autistic thing, it is a safety thing. My sister uses her daughter's autism as a crutch to not have to be a good parent, and it sounds like a lot of you do too. SHAME on you all for considering your own comfort over the safety of your child!!! A car seat is designed a certain way for a REASON. If not restrained in a car seat properly, an accident could snap her spine in two. That is why GOOD parents put their kids in car seats!!! What the HELL is wrong with you??!! You should ALL have your kids taken away from you if you value them so little.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 3:08 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • "Mind my own business" huh? You must be the same people who allow their neighbor's children to be sexually abused. How DARE I make her feel like a bad mother!!! THAT'S the REAL issue here?! What planet are you from?! The "I don't give a shit about my kids" star?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 3:10 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • If I were her mom, I would switch to a booster and when she took off her seat belt ( while driving) I would pull over and act as if she was going to die from taking it off. Most kids like that can be easily freaked out and I think a seatbelt is a justifiable fear to instill. I did that to ds and he does not battle about wearing it, he fears not wearing it.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 12:47 PM on Jul. 11, 2011