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Raising Special Needs Kids Raising Special Needs Kids

Mom's With Little Runners

Posted by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM
  • 17 Replies
What do you do? My daughter is 7. she doesn't run while at home but has run at least once a week at school since school started 5 weeks ago. Last week she ran in front if moving school buses. This week she ran off school property and attempted to climb a fence into someone's yard. She has an ASD dx. Her therapists offer no insight and her psychiatrist could only suggest we add a dose of meds at school. What did you try to stop the behavior?
by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM
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JoanahLee
by Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 11:18 AM
1 mom liked this

Does she respond to behavior modification?   Ive gotten a handle on playground escapees before by using some of that plastic tape (think police tape, but a solid happy color..we used red/pink) to outline the ground around the boundary of the playground.  We put the tape down, spent some time outside while no other kids were there, walked around the perimeter  a few times and then practiced running to the tape and "Stop at red". If he stopped before he went over the line he got a cracker, if he went over the line he had to sit in time out.  The first few recess times while all the other kids were there I hovered and reminded him to 'Stop at Red", but after a week he was doing it on his own.  

I don't know what magic they expect 'more medication' to do?  

DDDaysh
by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 11:24 AM

This sort of depends on why she's running.  DS used to be a little escape artist, but luckily outgrew it!  His was mostly impulse based though.  He wanted to go see what was over there, or to go visit grandma, or go see a friend, etc.  We mostly used alams just to alert us when a door was openned so we could catch him, and I used a harness when we were going out somewhere where he might escape.  (Say what you will about treating my child like a dog on a leash, but he's nine now and alive!)  

However, if she's escaping from school, it sounds like it more like she might be doing it as an avoidance mechanism.  She might be under too much pressure and overloading and running to escape.  If that's what's going on, their best bet is to create a "safety zone" for her.  This is someplace she can go where she can just sit and be left alone and not forced into any activities.  It can be as simple as a taped off square on the floor of the classroom, where if she's in that square no one is allowed to bother her, or it could be the counselor's office or something like that.  

This might be somewhat counterproductive to her education because she might tend to run to her safety zone too often to avoid tasks, but once they get her comfortable with using it, they can start offering rewards for not using it "too often" that can hopefully bring her back into active participation.  

arkansasmama08
by Gold Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Jer likes to take off. For no other reason than he really wants to see or do something. I have no advice though :(. He's only 3 so our only course if action is to keep a hand on him or confine him in a stroller, shopping cart, etc
jjamom
by Michele on Sep. 18, 2013 at 3:49 PM
I would have precautions added to her IEP to safeguard her from eloping at school. We had to do this with my son when he was in ECI.

In terms of teaching, I am not sure what to do. I am just really hyper vigilant at home, since he escaped a few times and it was SO terrifying to me each time, even though each time was only momentary. At that age, he just was not capable of really understanding the danger.
mom2many747
by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 4:24 PM
1 mom liked this
Behavior modification has worked with some things in the past. I like the idea about plastic tape. I'm going to speak to her teacher and see if something like that is possible.

I don't know what he expected another dose of meds to do but I politely declined his offer.


Quoting JoanahLee:

Does she respond to behavior modification?   Ive gotten a handle on playground escapees before by using some of that plastic tape (think police tape, but a solid happy color..we used red/pink) to outline the ground around the boundary of the playground.  We put the tape down, spent some time outside while no other kids were there, walked around the perimeter  a few times and then practiced running to the tape and "Stop at red". If he stopped before he went over the line he got a cracker, if he went over the line he had to sit in time out.  The first few recess times while all the other kids were there I hovered and reminded him to 'Stop at Red", but after a week he was doing it on his own.  

I don't know what magic they expect 'more medication' to do?  

mom2many747
by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 4:35 PM
For my daughter, it seems as though it's a fight or flight response. She will feel cornered by situations and her response is to take off. She's triggered very easily though. For instance, today I received a call from her teacher saying my daughter ran. The class was at PE. None of the students were following directions so all of the students were directed to sit down and take a quiet time. My daughter refused. She was told by a classroom aid that she needed to join the class. That triggered my daughter to run. She ran off school grounds then attempted to climb a fence into a yard that happened to have 3 large dogs in it. Fortunately she was grabbed before anything happened. She doesn't run while at home though. b it's only at school.

Quoting DDDaysh:

This sort of depends on why she's running.  DS used to be a little escape artist, but luckily outgrew it!  His was mostly impulse based though.  He wanted to go see what was over there, or to go visit grandma, or go see a friend, etc.  We mostly used alams just to alert us when a door was openned so we could catch him, and I used a harness when we were going out somewhere where he might escape.  (Say what you will about treating my child like a dog on a leash, but he's nine now and alive!)  

However, if she's escaping from school, it sounds like it more like she might be doing it as an avoidance mechanism.  She might be under too much pressure and overloading and running to escape.  If that's what's going on, their best bet is to create a "safety zone" for her.  This is someplace she can go where she can just sit and be left alone and not forced into any activities.  It can be as simple as a taped off square on the floor of the classroom, where if she's in that square no one is allowed to bother her, or it could be the counselor's office or something like that.  

This might be somewhat counterproductive to her education because she might tend to run to her safety zone too often to avoid tasks, but once they get her comfortable with using it, they can start offering rewards for not using it "too often" that can hopefully bring her back into active participation.  

mom2many747
by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 4:38 PM
That's what I'm trying to do. I'm just not sure what to add. No one seems to be able to give me options. That's why I posted here. I'm just hoping someone can offer some advice.

Quoting jjamom:

I would have precautions added to her IEP to safeguard her from eloping at school. We had to do this with my son when he was in ECI.



In terms of teaching, I am not sure what to do. I am just really hyper vigilant at home, since he escaped a few times and it was SO terrifying to me each time, even though each time was only momentary. At that age, he just was not capable of really understanding the danger.
DDDaysh
by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 4:39 PM

So maybe a "safety area" would help her issue.  If they gave her a specific place she could run to, where she wouldn't be immediately pulled back into what she was afraid of, at least she wouldn't be running to dangerous locations.  

It would probably take a little while to train her to do it, but it might help.  

Quoting mom2many747:

For my daughter, it seems as though it's a fight or flight response. She will feel cornered by situations and her response is to take off. She's triggered very easily though. For instance, today I received a call from her teacher saying my daughter ran. The class was at PE. None of the students were following directions so all of the students were directed to sit down and take a quiet time. My daughter refused. She was told by a classroom aid that she needed to join the class. That triggered my daughter to run. She ran off school grounds then attempted to climb a fence into a yard that happened to have 3 large dogs in it. Fortunately she was grabbed before anything happened. She doesn't run while at home though. b it's only at school.

Quoting DDDaysh:


mom2many747
by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 4:43 PM
That's a really good idea, thank you so much. I know they have a "timeout room" similar to what you may find in the hospital. Perhaps I can get them to let her run there.

Quoting DDDaysh:

So maybe a "safety area" would help her issue.  If they gave her a specific place she could run to, where she wouldn't be immediately pulled back into what she was afraid of, at least she wouldn't be running to dangerous locations.  

It would probably take a little while to train her to do it, but it might help.  

Quoting mom2many747:

For my daughter, it seems as though it's a fight or flight response. She will feel cornered by situations and her response is to take off. She's triggered very easily though. For instance, today I received a call from her teacher saying my daughter ran. The class was at PE. None of the students were following directions so all of the students were directed to sit down and take a quiet time. My daughter refused. She was told by a classroom aid that she needed to join the class. That triggered my daughter to run. She ran off school grounds then attempted to climb a fence into a yard that happened to have 3 large dogs in it. Fortunately she was grabbed before anything happened. She doesn't run while at home though. b it's only at school.



Quoting DDDaysh:


darbyakeep45
by Darby on Sep. 19, 2013 at 6:33 AM
My son is a runner but really with me...lol! He's pretty good at school though. Hugs!!!
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