Another simple way to prevent problem behavior is to control the environment. Below are some examples of safety measures that you can take in your home to help keep your child with autism safe.
Keeping dangerous items out of reach
This includes putting locks on the cabinets to help keep dangerous items out of reach. This includes all cleaning items, sharp knives, scissors, etc. This is especially important when dealing with a child who has an issue with PICA. PICA is a condition that causes the child to eat inedible objects.
Keep the doors locked to prevent elopement.
When dealing with a child who has a history with elopement, it is important to keep the doors of your house locked. Elopement is when a child leaves without permission or anyone knowing that he is leaving. If you own a chest-style freezer, it is important to keep a lock on it. There are horror stories of children trying to hide in these freezers. Likewise, it is imperative to keep the door to a swimming pool locked at all times.
Hot water Danger
Hot water is a risk for children with sensory disorders. This is because they do not feel hot or cold. One solution to this issue is to lower the temperature on your water heater. With older children, we suggest practicing with them turning on hot water mixed with cold water. In the same vein, some parents place stickers on the hot water knob on both facets and shower knobs. These stickers remind their child of the potential danger of hot water.
When dealing with a child with autism, it is important to secure heavy furniture to the wall. This can be done using furniture brackets or safety straps. Likewise, there are electronics that are heavy and may be easily pulled over by a child on the spectrum. We recommend using items such as TV safety straps.