Introduction

Safeguarding Children with Autism

Safeguarding is important as children are already vulnerable enough, especially children with autism.

 

“If each of us make safeguarding our business, we build a community that protects our most vulnerable.”

 

Autism itself does not affect life expectancy, but the risk of early death in individuals with autism is double that of the general population (NAA, 2008).

Key Reasons for early death amongst the autism population:

  • Injury
  • Drowning
  • Suicide 

Why individuals with autism are more vulnerable:

1. Challenges in communication: 

  • May climb to get what they want
  • Walk out the door to go swimming
  • Dash from parents in public area 

 

2. Challenging to follow instructions and cooperate

  • Wait 

 

3. Specific and fixated interests 

  • Completely focused on getting an item/going to a certain place, hence unaware of the potential dangers 

 

4. Developmental delays obscure the comprehension of danger and safety 

In this series, we will be covering:

  1. Safety at home: baby proofing the house, household rules and systems to prevent injuries at home.
  2. Wandering: prevent and protect children with autism from leaving the house on their own and wandering.
  3. Safety in the car: making sure children are in their car seats, wearing seatbelts.
  4. Safety in the community: staying safe outside the home. 
  5. Safety around water: how to prevent drowning.
  6. Safety with others: how to keep children with autism safe from abuse.
  7. Teaching Basic Safety Instructions and the concept of Safe and Dangerous. 

 

Remember! 90% of our energy should be spent on preventative strategies, and 10% on reactive strategies. 

Your Turn

Go through the 7 areas of safety that we just mentioned: 

 

  • Safety at home
  • Wandering
  • Safety in the Car
  • Safety in the Community
  • Safety around Water
  • Safety with Others
  • The Understanding of Basic Safety Instructions and the concept of Safe & Dangerous 
References

1. Autism statistics and facts. Autism Speaks. (n.d.). Retrieved January 1, 2022, from https://www.autismspeaks.org/autism-statistics-asd
2. Autism & Safety Facts. National Autism Association. (n.d.). Retrieved January 1, 2022, from https://nationalautismassociation.org/resources/autism-safety-facts/