By Jane Weyman
Children on the autism spectrum are more likely to wander away. In fact, more than one-quarter million school-age children with ASD or other developmental disorders wander away from adult supervision each year. While the tendency to wander off isn’t exclusive to people living with autism, it is a safety issue that should be considered when childproofing a home or any other space. The great news is that, due to advancements in GPS technology, there are new and innovative ways to ensure the safety of your child.
Traditional Childproofing Methods
Childproofing your home not only means ensuring that your kids are safe while inside of it, but that they cannot easily leave it without you knowing. While all parents of young children are likely to engage in some sort of childproofing practices around their home, for parents of those with autism spectrum disorder, it becomes even more important. Here is where you might have to get a little creative. For a child who tends to wander off at night, try installing a Dutch door in their bedroom with the lock on the outside. The bottom door can be locked at night and the top door, which should be too high for the child to climb up to, can be left open so they don’t feel so confined. Installing locks on cabinets and other doors is crucial as well as these children are beautifully curious, and while that is sometimes a great attribute, it can lead them to look through kitchen and laundry cabinets and sometimes eat or touch things they shouldn’t.
GPS Technology Increases Peace of Mind
In general, childproofing is more about restricting access than it is anything else. However, when locks, fences and other traditional methods don’t work, you will want to ensure your child is safe by utilizing technology to be able to find them. Devices such as the GPS SmartSole are small little smartphones that are sealed inside of a trimmable in-sole. All you have to do is simply put it inside of their shoes and track it from your smartphone if they wander off. The app will send an updated location to your phone every five minutes to ensure that you can find them quickly. Not only does this type of technology promote safety, it also gives your child the freedom they need and deserve.
Creating a Safe Haven
For many children living on the autism spectrum, the outside world can be a scary place. There are a lot of loud noises and unexpected surprises This is why home often feels like a safe haven where they know things will be consistent. However, when they get the uncontrollable urge to, they might be curious enough to wander off. Ensure their safety and your peace of mind by utilizing the help of a GPS locating device. This will not only help you rest easy knowing you can find them in the instance that they are lost, but that they too will be able to return to their normal environment quickly and safely.
Photo by Joel Overbeck on Unsplash