I am always worried about Nicky's safety, if he's out of my sight for a minute my heart races as I think "Where's Nicky?!. Tonight I was looking for information and found this...
By Kate Britton, M.S.Ed., M.A., BCBA and Bridget A. Taylor, PsyD, BCBA-D
- Responding to name: Teach your child to turn around and orient to you when his name is called.
- Responding to “Come here”: Teach your child to come to you when you say, “Come here.” Practice this skill across many environments, including outside in the play yard and at the park.
- Answering social questions: Teach your child to answer social questions that are relevant for safety (e.g., “Where do you live?” or “What is your mother’s name?” or “What is your mother’s cell phone number?”). Teach your child to respond to these questions in varied presentations (e.g., “Who are you?” and “What is your name?”). Be sure your child can be understood by novel listeners. If you child has an augmentative communication system, teach your child to answer these questions by activating her system.
- Asking for permission to leave the house or yard area: Teach your child to approach you and ask to go for a walk or to go to a specific location.
- Asking to go to preferred locations/places: Teach your child the names of his preferred locations (e.g., park, ice cream store, etc.) and teach him to request to go to these locations by name or by exchanging a picture of a place. Photos of the places could be hung on the inside front door to serve as a prompt for your child to request a preferred location.
- Holding hands: Teach your younger child to hold your hand when you are walking in the community. While this sounds like a simple goal, some children with autism may require specific teaching in cooperating with hand holding especially in the community.
- Crossing streets: Teach your child the skill of waiting at cross walks until no cars are present or until you give her permission to cross the street.
- Walking/staying with an adult: Teach your child to follow alongside of you when you walk in the community, without holding his hand. This skill should be practiced in school or home first and then in the community.
- Waiting appropriately: Teach your child to wait next to you in varied locations and in line at department stores.
- Cooperating with wearing medical identification jewelry: Teach your child to tolerate wearing an identification bracelet or necklace.
- Exchanging an identification card: Teach your child to take an identification card out of her pocket or wallet when asked different types of question such as “Are you lost?” or “What is your name?”
- Answering a cell phone and following directions and answering questions: Teach your child to follow directions on the phone (e.g., “Walk to the kitchen” or “Find an adult”), and to answer questions on the phone (e.g., “Where are you?”).
- Declining inappropriate instructions: Teach your child to walk away and say “No!” when given an inappropriate instruction from a stranger (e.g., if a novel person says, “Come with me,” or “Give me your wallet,” the child is taught to say, “No” and walk away to find a familiar person to report what happened). When teaching, use novel people so the child distinguishes whom to respond to in this manner.
- Identifying a stranger: Teach your child to identify strangers versus familiar people in photos and then in the presence of novel people and familiar people. Teach your child the types of interactions that are appropriate with familiar people and those that are not with a stranger.
- Exiting a home/building during a fire alarm: Teach your child a place to exit to in the event of a fire alarm or home emergency (e.g., always to the driveway and wait in a specific spot).
- Swimming: Teach your child to swim. Many local community centers have swim programs for children with disabilities.
www.protectmefirst.com (door guard alarms)
www.kidsafeid.com (identification cards)