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Reins For Older Child


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#1 skykomish14

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 04:37 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Our daughter doesn’t have autism or any special needs, but we’re hoping for some advice which we think might be better here than on other forums.

 

We’re at the point where we’re very seriously considering getting her reins.  She’s 10 (11 in August) and we know it’s unusual to think about reins for a child her age when they don’t have special needs, but she just cannot stay with us or be trusted.  We’ve been over and over things with her and she’s always says she understands, but she really doesn’t listen.  We’ve tried giving her extra responsibilities when out (including taking away things from her older brother to ask her to do), we’ve tried taking away privileges, and trusted her as much as we can, but nothing changes.  There’s no cause for concern with anything else (she does great in school, and is happy socially) but whenever we’re out she just won’t listen, it’s really stressful, and our efforts don’t get us anywhere.

 

She’s always been this way to an extent, but until a while ago it was pretty manageable and we kept thinking she’d stop as she got older but she hasn’t.  From reading up on things, we know wandering/running is not uncommon for autistic children, and we’ve found some places which make reins for older children.  We know it sounds kind of over-the-top, but we do think they would be a massive help.  But, of course, we also know there probably aren’t any kids her age on reins (who don’t have special needs), and we don’t want to cause her any embarrassment if we can avoid it.  This said, safety is obviously most important and we think putting her back on reins might actually work.

 

If anyone has used reins for older children, any thoughts would be really helpful.  Again, we know it’s unusual, but we’d be really grateful for any advice.

 

Thanks very much.



#2 imperfect parent

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 07:08 PM

 

Our daughter doesn’t have autism or any special needs, but we’re hoping for some advice which we think might be better here than on other forums.

 

We’re at the point where we’re very seriously considering getting her reins.  She’s 10 (11 in August) and we know it’s unusual to think about reins for a child her age when they don’t have special needs, but she just cannot stay with us or be trusted.  We’ve been over and over things with her and she’s always says she understands, but she really doesn’t listen.  We’ve tried giving her extra responsibilities when out (including taking away things from her older brother to ask her to do), we’ve tried taking away privileges, and trusted her as much as we can, but nothing changes.  There’s no cause for concern with anything else (she does great in school, and is happy socially) but whenever we’re out she just won’t listen, it’s really stressful, and our efforts don’t get us anywhere.

 

 

 

I think you have made a good decision in asking this question.

 

My middle son had no stop at the age of 4, but by the age of 8 we were able to walk anywhere with him so I do have some understanding of the difficulties you are facing.  He was diagnosed with Aspergers at 13 after a lot difficulty in school from the day he started.

 

I'm a little bit concerned that you say that your daughter has no special needs, yet you recognise that she clearly has a need for supervision when out given that she just cannot stay with you or be trusted.  You are obviously concerned, and have done the right thing in looking for a solution to the problem you are facing, but I would hesitate to agree that she has no special needs.  Keep a record of your concerns and carry on looking for solutions.  Trying a reward system might work better than a removal of privileges.

 

We didn't have a need for reins at this age, but looking back through past posts I found this link which may be useful http://www.twinsuk.c...-Special-Needs/ 

 

Given that you can negotiate with your daughter I would offer her some choice (control) and discuss why you feel the need for reins, but initially offer her a strap that she can loop over her wrist and you can hold.  It might be all she needs to remind her to listen, but if it doesn't work the reins will be less of a jump, and something which she knows will be the consequence.

 

Good luck.



#3 Kadenza

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 07:23 PM

I think IP has answered really well.  Yes, there are reins available, but I would want to get to the bottom of the issues, really, as only then will you be able to form strategies that will help in the long term, if you need them.


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#4 skykomish14

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:19 PM

Thanks very much for the replies. We’re really grateful for the understanding and advice and we’re sorry we couldn’t reply sooner.

 

We bought a wrist strap at the weekend, and we’ve sat down with her and gone over things once again.  We discussed all the previous occasions and explained (again) when and why she has to stay with us.  We also showed her the wrist strap and her reward chart and very clearly explained it’s up to her which one she chooses.  She listened, clearly understood what we said, and said she was sorry, but it did feel like we’ve heard it all before.  That said, we do feel like we’re trying something new and we’ll keep a record of things, which feels like some progress again so thanks very much again for the advice.

 

And we one hundred percent understand about the need for this supervision being unusual at her age, and we’ve looked over and over at why, but we really don’t think there are any special needs.  We considered ADHD, ADD, etc. and looked into it all, but after going through everything, it really does seem to be an isolated discipline issue.

 

Thank you both very much again for being understanding and for the advice.

 

(Imperfect Parent – we forgot to say we tried to send you a private message to say thanks for replying to our other post, but we think your inbox is full!)


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#5 imperfect parent

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 06:41 AM

 

 

(Imperfect Parent – we forgot to say we tried to send you a private message to say thanks for replying to our other post, but we think your inbox is full!)

:blush: I need to do some clearing out. sorry I should have checked before I suggested a PM

 

Let us know how you get on.



#6 Kazzen161

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 11:04 PM

Does she behave the same way when she goes out with her class?  I am presuming whilst at Junior school they have walked to local museums/parks/etc?



#7 skykomish14

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 07:49 PM

Hi again everyone,

 

Sorry it’s taken so long for us to write back.  We really appreciate the advice and understanding and we’ve tried the suggestions which we’re really grateful for.

 

Basically the situation hasn’t improved, although the reward chart idea did work at the beginning.  It definitely improved things for a few weeks and though she sometimes needed reminding we stuck with it (explaining again the choice was up to her).  However, in the last few weeks we have used the wrist strap quite a few times but she just took it off straight away and it was basically chaos.

 

We’ve kept a record of things to try and understand if she just wanders/runs off in certain situations (e.g. when we’re out together, or if it’s just one of us with her), but there isn’t a pattern and she just cannot stay with us and we can’t trust her.  Kazzen161 - thanks for the note about the school.  We asked about it and of the few times she’s been on trips she has been told to stay with her teacher more than once.

 

As we haven’t got anywhere yet, we’ve decided to try the reward chart as before - and explained again it’s her choice - but with the reins instead of the wrist strap.  We know it’s unusual for a child her age, but we’re at the point where this is really the only option.  For those who have used reins for older children, could you make any recommendations as to which ones are best?

 

We looked at the link Imperfect Parent sent and they looked to be the same ones as the Crelling Company offers, but we also found some at www.childharness.ca/2strap.html.  At this point we think the last option looks the better one, but any thoughts on practicality, quality, etc. would be really helpful).

 

Thanks very much again to everyone for being understanding and for all the advice.



#8 imperfect parent

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 02:20 PM

It's not easy, but given that you say she understands then you need to try and find out why it still happens.  She may truly understand, and intend to comply, but something is preventing this; is she distracted by other things, lost in her own world, or in need of respite from overwhelming stimulation? 

 

In the meantime try to be realistic in your expectation of her, by that I mean try to set her up to succeed based on your knowledge of her, not based on what is expected of others of her age.  Success and reward help so much more than failure and punishment.

 

She may find the wrist strap a sensory problem, or simply an unwanted reminder of her failure.  If at all possible you want to be rewarding the good outings s and ignoring the bad; just do what is needed to get her safe, and then continue as though nothing untoward happened.  Easier said than done, but it really does work.  Each time you go out remind her that you will be using the strap/reins, but only if necessary, and only for as long as they are needed.  Trust is the key to success.

 

Understanding it can feel impossible, but you will get there. 



#9 skykomish14

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 05:31 AM

Thanks again for the encouragement and advice, we’re really grateful.

 

She does understand, but she’s certainly not distracted or overwhelmed; it’s actually the opposite - she’ll enthusiastically see something and will want to show and tell us about it, etc. but not to the extent of any hyperactivity (we have considered ADD, ADHD but ruled them out).  Whenever we can we of course let her and she’s fine – it’s great seeing her happy and excited. But, when we explain that we can’t, or that we don’t have time, etc., (and even if we promise to come back later if we can) she’ll fully acknowledge that it’s not possible, and then she’ll just go ahead and wander or run off, despite us going over and over with her why she can’t do it.

 

The idea is good, but the wrist strap wasn’t a sensory issue – she just took it off straight away (I think the longest she had it on was about 10 seconds).  I think you’re right that it does remind her somewhat of failing, but we did everything we could to remind her constantly of her reward chart and she clearly understood the choice.  As silly as it sounds, because of our own worries that reins at her age were kind of over-the-top, I think we may have been a bit lenient and she just didn’t take the wrist strap seriously.  We think the reins at www.childharness.ca/2strap.html are the better ones, so unless anyone recommends differently we’ll order them this weekend.

 

Thanks for the tip about focusing on rewarding the good outings (which are few and far between at the moment) and we’ll definitely remind her each time we go out that the choice is hers.  This said, we do worry over the process of figuring out for how long she should wear them when we do have to use them. We know it will depend on where we are, her behaviour, etc., but we also want her to take things seriously and not make the mistake of being too lenient like we think we’ve been previously.  Safety is obviously the most important thing, but we really don't want her getting embarrassed either.

 

Thanks again for the encouragement – we are really grateful for the help.


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