Tag Archives: safety



Safety is a major concern for all parents. That concern grows more complex when your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Create your own child ID kit with the help of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They provide easy-to-follow directions here.

The key is to keep the info up-to-date and easily accessible.


Ideas for a Summer Project

For most kids, school is out for the summer! Yay! Put their leisure time to good use by agreeing on an independent living skill to master and work on it all summer.

Back when my son had just completed 4th grade, we practiced going to the market and buying groceries all summer. By the time he started 5th grade, he could walk into any grocery store on his own and pick up a few items for his mom who didn’t want to get out of the car [that was my excuse anyway]. Our local market had a self-check aisle which was perfect for him. We did lots of rehearsing, with me shadowing, then he’d shop and pretend I wasn’t there [but I was].

Independent Shopper!

Independent Shopper!

His “final exam” was when I actually remained in the car and he went into the store with a list of a few items and some cash. I remember he came out once to tell me that the kind of applesauce we always buy wasn’t available, and he was unsure of what to substitute. But we discussed it and he went back in to complete his mission. [Lucky for him and me that he didn’t walk out of the store carrying the other items, or we’d have a totally different subject to talk about here!]

Anyway, summer is a great time to hone your child’s skills in a variety of areas. Remember to take baby steps—three to five steps at a time. Here are a few ideas:

  • Laundry [HINT: The easiest one to start with is washing, drying & folding towels.]

    Folding Towels is an Easy Skill to Master.

    Folding Towels is an Easy Skill to Master. Parents must be willing to give up expectations for “hotel-style” folding — at least for a while.

  • Operate the washer & dryer
  • Sort clothes
  • Be familiar with detergents, fabric softeners, stain removers and bleach
  • Select the correct water temperature for different fabrics
  • Select the correct drying cycle
  • Clean the lint screen after each use
  • Fold clothes and put them away


  • Wake up on his own in the morning
  • Set and use an alarm clock
Alarm Clock

An important step to self-reliance!


  • Know how to exit apartment/home in event of an emergency
  • Know when and how to call for emergency services
  • Know when to call 911—and when not to
  • Know how to lock and secure all doors and windows
  • Know basic first aid skills or how to get added assistance when needed

Cooking        [teach him to prepare two dishes for each meal]


Another crucial step in teaching your child self-reliance.

With patience, understanding and a whole lotta practice, you and your child will have a productive project for the summer that will result in an important life skill by September.

Have fun with it and good luck!

Your Child & Law Enforcement

June 11, 2012

Police officers maintain law and order in our society. That’s a very simplistic job description, because they face life and death dangers every time they answer a distress call. But for the purposes of this article, let’s keep it simple.

To make sure that there’s open communication between our local police force and my son, I’ve been teaching him some basics which I think will be helpful for any child who may have communication issues. Of course I hope my son doesn’t have any run-ins with the law, but if he does, he needs to be prepared.

Respect law enforcement

Respect law enforcement

If you are stopped by the police:

  1. Show your hands at all times.
    • If driving and you’re pulled over by the police, keep your hands on the steering wheel.
    • If you’re standing, keep your hands out of your pockets and at your side.
    • Don’t grab your wallet, your phone or anything else – unless directed to do so.
  2. Do not touch the policeman’s gun, knife, baton, tazer, radio, badge, hat – anything. Do not reach for it. Do not ask about it. Save your love for weaponry and electronics for another time and place. And keep your hands to yourself.
  3. Respect the personal space of the police officer. Stand an arm’s length away. He may invade your personal space, but you cannot invade his.
  4. Don’t get out of your car until asked to do so.
  5. Don’t sass. Don’t joke. Don’t ask questions. Don’t speak unless you are asked to.
  6. Follow the instructions of the law enforcement personnel.
  7. Never answer questions at a police station without having an attorney present. Often individuals with Asperger’s will say things they never meant to say, or their literal interpretation will wrongfully incriminate them. [Remember the scene from HBO’s TEMPLE GRANDIN movie where she was questioned by college authorities about her squeeze box? She was interpreting the questions literally, which got her into trouble.]
  8. Know when to call 911.

If you have any pointers to add to this list, please comment below. We’d love to hear your input!