Safety in the street — Scope | Disability forum
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Safety in the street

Janine Member Posts: 11 Listener
I am working with an older child with autism. He is very active and he likes to run and "escape" with no concern for safety. His behaviour is difficult to manage and his mum and carers are struggling whenever they have to walk with him in the community. Does anyone know of any harnessess for older children or has come across this problem before? Thanks for your help.


  • carol15
    carol15 Member Posts: 1
    Try Crelling They have a range of harnesses for walking
    Crelling Harnesses For Disabled Limited.
    12 Crescent East
    FY5 3LJ

    Tel: (+ 44 ) 01253 852298

    Fax: (+ 44) 01253 821780
    Email: [email protected]
  • BusyOT
    BusyOT Member Posts: 76
    Hi Janine, Have you thought about a wheelchair? I recently recommended one - mum phoned me to say that I had got the measurements wrong and it was a wee bit tight. She phoned back an hour later having been to the shops and said it worked a treat - the too tight gave him extra sensory input and he sat happily in the chair.
    I would only recommend with clear instructions that it is only used in vulnerable situations (not in park etc) but it can be an age appropriate, socially acceptable way of getting about. The difficulty with walking harnesses is that someone has to be on the other end and quick movements could cause injury to either party.
    The use of a wheelchair can also remove some of the anxiety about moving about in community settings - e.g if he is overstimulated then he also doesn't have to think about walking, if he has perceptual issues then working out distances etc is no longer a concern. Therefore what might look like taking away independence actually gives independence - the client I mentioned earlier is now going round the supermarket with his mum!
    The other method we often recommend is with the physio work out a "safe walking" technique - a supporter on either side, supporting under the elbow and effectively jamming the person in if required. Only works if the person can tolerate people that close - but does allow them to have independent movement with a quick response as required. The long term downside can mean the person starts to lean on the supporters and dependence develops. Keep in touch and let us know how you get on.
  • Janine
    Janine Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Thanks very much for your help.
    Will let you know how we get on.
  • JimJams
    JimJams Member Posts: 174 Connected
    I know how difficult this can be and i used to drive my son to the front door of almost everywhere to avoid any walking, i once tried (when he was very young and before diagnosed autistic) tried to walk my son on a toddlers harness and the dog on a lead, I think I can safely say that was one of the worst days of my life. Anyway we tackled walking safely in the street every night by taking my son walks and helping him learn by visual aids about not running away and the danger of cars etc. he has learned to stop look and listen and not run at all when out, unless he is in the park etc. It takes long long teaching and reenforcing nad visual aids to help children with autism learn a new skill
  • Natasha Brown
    Natasha Brown Member Posts: 108 Courageous
    i agree behavioural approach is loing term goal.

    reins like REINS.html could be short term for specific circumstances i geuss but overall goal hould be teaching him o v short walks with rewards perhaps to walk nicely next to the adult

    also wheelchair option is not such a bad idea


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