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Safety, my 5 year old is scaring the heck out of me

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Keeping my son safe is my first priority, but boy he doesn't make it easy! Do you remember in Jurassic park where the raptors kept testing the fence for weaknesses? That is my kid. A year and a half ago he got out of the house while I was away for a business trip, he decided to "look for mommy" in his underwear, dragging his blanket. Two teenaged girls found him two blocks from home. He scared the hell out of my husband and older kids. We put high flip and chain latches on the doors that weekend and we lock each other in and out of the house so Vaughn is always secure inside with whoever is watching him. Last summer he figured out he could pull the barstools around in the backyard to look over the fences, we threw out our outdoor barstools after he flipped over into the neighbor's yard. they have an open pool, we have a pool behind an iron gate, no more barstools. A few months ago he figured out how to open the windows (they're not easy) he opened the window to his 2nd story bedroom, pushed the screen out and scared my 13 year old daughter and her friends to death. Two girls came running in the house to tell me while two stayed under the window thinking they could catch him? We put locks on every window that weekend. Yesterday he got our side gate open and let our dogs loose in the neighborhood, the padlock was threaded but not popped shut and someone noticed. After getting the dogs back and checking all the padlocks I went to make the kids lunch while Vaughn jumped on the trampoline. Suddenly he was knocking at the front door!!! He climbed a big blue barrel trash can to get over the fence, a 5 ft high block wall! He had a balloon in his hand, where's the ballon from Vaughn? He took me next door to our neighbors house where their front door was open but no one was home? Apparently they don't lock their doors, now I'm going to be worried about them too. He went in their house and found a balloon in the living room... Shut up. At 10pm last night my husband installed a key lock on our sliding glass door so Vaughn can't get in the backyard anymore. We'll have to use a key to let our dogs in and out... But what else can we do? I can't risk finding my kid at the bottom of my neighbors pool, at the bottom of my pool, hit by a car or abducted out on the street. In 15 years of motherhood nothing as ever had me this scared. He's too smart with too little common sense.

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Replies (21-21):
by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 11:45 AM
That is a great idea! I work with kids on the spectrum, might have to try this with a wanderer. There is a pec card for wait. I found a free one on the internet. You coukd also make a social story about waiting and a reward chart for earning a fun activity like park if he asks 3x. Maybe put the reward chart on the door by the reminder cards. If he is less functional or too. Impulsive you can jist try a small treat when he asks appropriately (ex. 1 fruit snack or m&m) a picture card of candy if needed.

Quoting KatyTylersMom:

So I know that he knows he shouldn't go out.  But sometimes I feel like our kids are just COMPELLED to get out.  So maybe putting PECS style strips of the "steps to go outside" on all his escape routes might help him interrupt the NEED to be out and think "oh yeah, I should go get mom" kind of thing.  I take no credit for this idea, I saw it on the show SuperNanny where a 8 year old with Downs Syndrome was the escape artist.  She put a long velcro strip on every door with three BIG PEC style pictures - the first was a stop sign, the second was a picture of the word WAIT (so for non-readers maybe just skip that one) and then the third was a picture of the kid talking to his mom to ask to go out.  Worked like a charm for that family, who knows? 

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