A friend recently asked me how we keep Trevy safe when he’s playing outside.
I thought maybe it might be a good idea to whip up a blog post. Because isn’t that how everyone spends their days off? Also, maybe our trick will help another family out in a time of desperation.
When we first bought our house…we were a little bummed that the majority of the yard is in front of the house. The American Dream is a big back yard, after all.
Little did we know how handy it would come in.
We’ve always known we’d need a fence to create a safe place for the kids to play. Mostly, for Trevy and the pooch. But, frankly, in today’s day and age…having a protective barrier around ALL of my kids gives me more peace of mind when they’re enjoying the great outdoors. Due to the flow of our yard…we fenced the WHOLE thing in. So both front and back doors (along with every other body sized openings) exit into our fully fenced yard.
For us it’s the perfect set up!
Once upon a time we used an unlocked padlock on the latch.
Eventually Trevy figured that out.
I know I said that all nonchalant. But the fact of the matter is…his figuring out how to open the yard gate turned our lives upside down for a couple weeks! He’s SO smart. SO SO smart. But he has the safety awareness of a one year old. Seriously. That’s according to his ABA clinician…and who am I to argue?
We have some really special and amazing people in our lives. Miss. Kerrie is one of them. She’s not only an amazing Special Educator (if only she were in our district!)…she also happens to moonlight as one of Trevy’s home helpers. We adore her!
She shared the trick they used on the gates at her school. Which is SO simple and yet SO ingenious!
The fine & visual motor skills needed to unclip that clippy are VERY advanced. This from an adult who stumbles through getting that thing off! But just to be safe…we mounted the latch on the OUTSIDE of the gate as an additional barrier. We do have a rule that EVERYONE coming or going must ALWAYS latch the clip. It is imperative. And we’re not shy about making sure everyone understands that rule.
Also, you should know that Trevor is not allowed to play outside unsupervised. I tried that a couple weeks ago. And when I went to check on him a few minutes later…I found him trying to pry open the electric meter! But he has made progress. There was a time when he always needed an adult with him. Always. Now I can trust him in short spurts with his siblings on duty. And double checking that the clip is in place!
If he figures the clip out…we’ll know it’s time to trade in the pooch for a service dog!
A new addition in the Safety Skills learning is a rule chart posted right by the front door.
I can’t emphasize enough how important visual reminders are – not just for special needs kiddos – for all kids!
I try to keep the rules simple.
Stay in my yard
Being safe makes everyone happy!
If you’d like a copy of my rule chart just email me and I’ll send a PDF your way. Because I’m awesome.