Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Security Part 2 of 3: Improvised Ehh . . . Devices

- from Jeremy

When in the course of Spectrum parenting, it becomes necessary for one people to concoct protective bands around another, and to assume that no amount of watchfulness will be sufficient to prevent escape or injury, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare how in the deuce they came up with such things. That sentence if much better if you read it in the voice of Henry Higgins.

So today we shall focus on the ways which we have had to invent to keep our space monkeys safe. Mechanisms that were not intended necessarily to keep Autistic kids unharmed, but which do. In every case, the solution I will reveal is an evolutionary triumph. That means we tried lots of things that didn't work. Like the other evolution people talk about, it's really all in your mind - these devices exhibit intelligent design. (Comments are enabled below. Fight! Fight! Fight!)

Here's a problem for you. The water bill said we were using over 12,000 gallons a month. To help you conceptualize that amount, it's equivalent to a couple of those big gas tanker trucks you see on the highway. Now this was during the summer and a lot of that water was going into the wading pool for Josiah. But a lot of it came from the spigot which I would find on when I left for work in the morning. Who would do such a thing? An alien race bent on destruction? That's close. So we tried a few solutions that didn't work worth a hoot, and then Uncle Jon came to the rescue (not uncommon) with a sillcock blockade of industrial strength. I think it's meant to secure chemical bottles or something. Nobody's getting any water out that thing. Nobody.

So Jo does this adorable thing of when he wants some Kool-Aid - he takes the gallon jug and pours it out on the tile. LOL, right? And Jalen makes the cutest little raw egg drawings in the light of the refrigerator's open door. You can imagine how well it works to ground them for these infractions, or to shout at them about it, or to show your frustration by pulling your own hair and rasping expletives like Yosemite Sam. We've tried them all. And the pathetic little fridge locks in the pathetic Safety 1st section at Walmart are pathetic. They might keep an 18-month-old typical kid out, but don't stand a chance against a 5-year-old ASD bruiser with no thought in the world but Get. In. This. Fridge. So I found a website that sells locks for keeping Schedule 1 narcotics away from patients and inmates. Now the fellas have a better chance of busting the door off the hinges than yanking it open by the handle.

Most people who know us are aware of the struggles we've had with Josiah and sleep. Let's just say he doesn't have any natural talent for it. Josiah is also what is called self-injurious. That means that when he gets distressed he does kind of a solo UFC thing. Only he never taps out. And any kind of restraint makes him angrier. Jalen on the other hand, has never intentionally hurt himself and he really doesn't mind restraints. He doesn't exactly sleep good, but it's an easier problem to solve than Jo. With Jo you have to soothe him and placate him and swing him and medicate him, but with Jay you just have to keep him in the bed. Jo, upon waking, immediately finds Christy wherever she is and wakes her up by whatever means. Jalen would be gone like Lamont Cranston. We went through a lot of different iterations of jail bed before we found the current one. It's meant for unpopular people to use when they go camping.

And the "lock" that keeps him from unzipping his way to freedom and mischief is actually a quick-release key chain (and it took quite a development process to arrive at that little beauty). And he's always liked his little dens. When you say it's time for bed he grabs a book and climbs right in. So what would happen if Jay-Jay woke in the middle of the night and wasn't somehow hemmed up? We're afraid to find out. He's really bad about climbing things, he's gotten out of windows a few times, he knows how to unlock some doors and he's really fast out in the open. He's pretty and cunning - you don't want to go to sleep with him loose.

Believe it or not, there's more. Come on back for part three. I'm thinking Friday-ish.

1 comment:

  1. I'm impressed with your various inventions and always enjoy the humor you infuse in your writing. Looking forward to the next installment!

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