Safety Tips for Children with Autism
As a parent, you worry about your child's happiness, health, and safety.
Your child’s home environment can help set the pace for all aspects of their life.
That’s why creating a safety plan is an essential step.
This may seem like an overwhelming task, like just one more thing to do, but we’re here for you.
We put together some top tips and strategies to help your child flourish at home, in public, and at school.
Safety at Home
Your home is a safe place for your child-- follow these simple safety tips to make your home more fit for your child’s needs.
Prioritize safety zones within your home - Knowing your child’s problem behaviors can help you allocate attention to certain rooms and furniture that pose threats to your child.
Cover electrical outlets - Your child's curiosity in how things work is a great strength, but when it comes to electrical wiring it is important to keep wires concealed so their curiosity does not cause injury. Outlet covers are a low-cost product with huge safety benefits, and wiring can be hidden within walls or under buffers.
Childproof locks and gates - Limit the possibility of harmful contact with substances by keeping locks on bathroom and kitchen cabinets to keep out curious hands.
Utilize locks & alarms - If your child has a tendency for wandering or breaking outside, locks and alarms for interior and exterior doors can help you manage their whereabouts to ensure safety. The same can be applied to windows to prohibit opening. Place locks higher up if you have small children so only adults can reach them.
Optimize furniture arrangement & safety - Furniture arrangement can decrease excessive transitions that can be jarring to attention and lead to altered behavior. If your child jostles or climbs furniture, safety straps and mounting brackets can help secure topheavy furniture against falling
Safety in Public
Public outings and new places may seem daunting when you have a child on the spectrum, but these simple strategies will help alleviate your anxiety for better outings for you and your child.
Create a social story - Pictures and descriptions of a new place or environment can help orient your child and set expectations for behavior while easing the overstimulation of taking in a new place.
Role-play public outing scenarios - Talking through possible scenarios that can occur during an outing can help prime your child for handling an unexpected situation.
Do a trial run - Before you go to a new place, having a trial run where locations and expectations are shown and talked through can help to improve the efficiency of an outing.
Safety in School
Every parent should feel comfortable that their child’s needs and safety will be in good hands when at school. Parents with children on the spectrum deserve that same trust.
Familiarize your child - Take your child to their school before classes start to have them understand their schedule, setting, and limitations. Orient them with the staff to ease the transition and set expectations
Share information with teachers - Talk with staff who will be in contact with your child and share any important information that will help them best interact for a productive learning experience
Be aware of policies - School policies on bullying as well as on calming and restraining children with autism are both vital for parents to understand the environment their children are in.
Buddy System - Talk with teachers and parents to have a classmate act as a buddy for your child during recess.
Even the best parents need help meeting their children’s needs. Specialized products are available to help ease the strain.
ID bracelets & labels - Small accessories or sew-in labels with information about your child can be lifesavers in emergency situations if your child wanders off or gets lost.
Tracking devices - These can come in all shapes and sizes and are also available to download in apps.
Seat-belt locking clips - These simple yet effective products make car rides more efficient and safe for you and your child.
Harnesses - When in new environments or public places, your child may become overwhelmed and run off. Harnesses are a popular product that can help you better manage your child.