Enhancing Safety: Strategies for Caring for Severely Autistic Children

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Entrepreneur of over 35 years and caregiver of adult autistic son

In this episode, Mike Carr outlines safety measures for his severely autistic child, including smart locks with thumbprints or codes, door alarms, surveillance cameras in key rooms, specialized drawer locks, a health monitor for detecting seizures, a bathroom camera for nighttime supervision, and non-stick shower pads. These efforts enhance safety and monitoring for his child’s specific needs.

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Mike Carr (00:10): 

So today we’re going to talk about safety, how to keep your severely or profoundly autistic son or daughter safe. And part of that is making sure they don’t wander outside. So what we’ve done is we’ve got a smart lock on this door. You can open it with your thumbprint or with a numeric code, a phone number. So as different colleagues come to work with them, access is controlled. When you close it, it will lock automatically based upon how much time you set. So you can set it for a minute, 10 minutes, and it’ll just automatically lock. We also have a chain on the door when he’s down here by himself and we have a ring monitor on the door so when it opens, if we’re not down here, the monitor upstairs will sound an alarm so that we know the door has been opened and it probably shouldn’t have not have been. 


We also have a camera up here in the ceiling so we can watch what’s going on with him if he’s playing down here by himself. We’ve also got locks on his puzzle drawer, which he loves to get into, and if he’s down here, he’ll take all his puzzles out and throw ’em all over the floor. While that’s not really safety, it’s more of a mess concern. We do have some puzzles though that have very small pieces, so we have locks to keep those puzzles locked up so he can’t get certain things with small pieces out, which he tends to put in his mouth and eat. So he has to mic up behavior where he’ll just eat anything. We want to move on into his bedroom. We have another camera up here so we can watch ’em at night. We also have a double locks lock here, lock up here on his door. 


We have a monitor, so when he’s in bed, he doesn’t want to wear things on his wrist, no rings. This will monitor his respiration, it’ll monitor his heart rate and let us know with an app on our phone if he’s got some issue at night. And since our son has seizures, monitoring heart rate increases, monitoring respiration sometimes is a precursor to a seizure or lets you know if a seizure’s about to occur. We actually have a ring camera in the bathroom and this is really cool. It’s portable battery operated. It has both a camera in it as well as audio. So we can listen to him at night to see if he gets up. And if he gets up we can say, Michael, go to bed. Of course, he won’t pay any attention to the camera and then we have to come down and make him go to bed. 


The last thing from a safety standpoint is we have on the shower floor here, these pads that are the same color as the tiles this would prevent. These are non-stick, so these prevent him from slipping and falling, which he did do a couple times before we put these circular adhesive pads. The nice thing about these too is they’re real easy to clean, so mats and whatnot tended to get gross. You have a mess over ’em, but these sticky adhesive pads, which you get on Amazon, turn out to be a really great lifesaver. And that’s it for today. Thank you.

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