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is it reasonale for a 5 year old with ASD/LD to play out unsupervised?

(44 Posts)
thecaptaincrocfamily Sun 18-Sep-11 01:15:13

Just want to know what people think. A child who lives nearby is constantly out by himself, in and out of my house and going off out of view of the house. The DF keeps asking if I have seen him and clearly isn't watching him.

LeBOF Sun 18-Sep-11 01:21:49

I would definitely say no.

SansaLannister Sun 18-Sep-11 01:27:23


festi Sun 18-Sep-11 01:31:37

did you post about this the other day.

If you are worried call ss.

I would not allow the child in my house and would send him home, my neighbour allows her 2 yr old to come to my house alone with 5 yr old brother, I always return the younger one home.

thecaptaincrocfamily Sun 18-Sep-11 01:41:54

I did post the other day but appeared to be unreasonable by lots of MN folk hmm Just thought I would ask again.

Birdsgottafly Sun 18-Sep-11 01:50:25

The truth of the matter is that this cannot be answered here. Every child is different, even a disabled child. You cannot label them, they are individuals.

This is the reason why SS do, thorough, individiual investigations.

festi Sun 18-Sep-11 09:33:36

I think I would go with your gut instinct and call ss and not be responsible for the child when playing out so dont let him into your house and send him off home.

Mitmoo Sun 18-Sep-11 09:35:34

I wouldn't have any 5 year old outside unsupervised and unwatched. They don't have the sense to keep themselves safe.

PonceyMcPonce Sun 18-Sep-11 09:36:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bigTillyMint Sun 18-Sep-11 09:39:41

I wouldn't have left my DC undupervised at 5. I definitely wouldn't leave an AS child unsupervised until much older.

Do you know the family?

OpenMouthInsertFoot Sun 18-Sep-11 09:42:13

I don't think it is reasonable to allow a 5yr old to wander unsupervised to the extent that you have to keep going round asking neighbours where they are! That is totally irresponsible - and neglectful!

Add in that the child has asd & ld and it is time to call ss, I think. They will be able to see how the parents are doing, and offer help, support and advice.

borderslass Sun 18-Sep-11 09:45:55

DS [ASD/LD's]now 17 used to go out at 5 with his big sister who was 8 we stopped allowing it after a few months when she was assaulted trying to protect him from another child who didn't like that he was different so no its not ok.

bigTillyMint Sun 18-Sep-11 09:57:13

Borderslass, that is exactly the problem - people do not know/understand how the AS brain works, so they need protecting. Especially if he's only 5.

Strawberry64 Sun 18-Sep-11 10:01:40

Wow. I played out from 4 and have both, one quite severely. Guess what, I`m still alive! I wasn't allowed to go out of sight unless it was one of my friends houses that my parents met though until I was 7. And then a year later 3 of us ( one who was my brother at age 6 but nt) would walk together a mile to our local shop or swimming pool. Depends on the kid, although I was emotionally immature I was incredibly sensible and rules made me feel very secure and I knew what to do in most situations. Even without a mobile phone..shocker! Both of my parents are in emergency services so I guess that gave them a sense of perspective and the tools to arm their kids. Don`t think parents can win! I would say 99% of the time though the parents will know if they trust their child and the child has been given the right tools to help them, also how it affects them. I would actually deviate from the crowd and say those with asd are more sensible and we like rules and aren't great at telling lies. At the other end, parents know their child best and whether they could cope.

Strawberry64 Sun 18-Sep-11 10:04:20

Also depends on area.

OpenMouthInsertFoot Sun 18-Sep-11 10:15:06

'People with asd' aren't anything. You simply cannot apply a one size fits all approach and say that people with asd are <insert generalisation>

My children both have autism. My eldest knows the rules and abides by them and you would think he'd be safe because of how much he loves rules and how important they are to him - but you'd be wrong, because in an crisis, he loses all ability to keep himself safe as he gets distressed and all those 'rules' he knows and loves fly out of the window. He may like rules, but put him in a situation where something unexpected happens and he can't cope. His inability to cope with the unexpected trumps his love of rules. That's just as common as a love of rules!

My youngest son has no sense of danger and a total inability to remember the rules. He can recite them if asked but they are just words to him and meaningless. He can't apply them to his life - in an actual situation he doesn't act on them. No matter how many times you drill stop-look-listen into him - put him next to a road and he will just go.

Social services can assess. Give them the information they need to take a look at the situation and see if they can help. If there is a need for them to help.

notherdaynotherdollar Sun 18-Sep-11 10:16:27

whats the parents to do ffs! Actually look after him and supervise him adequately? Dont be daft!

pigletmania Sun 18-Sep-11 10:27:51

The boy is only 5, SN or not I would not allow a 5 year old to wander about without adult supervision. Yes just because he has SN does not mean that he cannot be independent, there are different SN and affect children in different ways, some are more profound than others. If he had been older I would have said that YABU, as the parents know their child and would be a more accurate judge on his abilities, but as he is still so young YANBU

VeryLittleGravitas Sun 18-Sep-11 11:46:25


The complete lack of understanding in your post as to what autism entails leaves me to believe that, contrary to your assertions, you do not have it.

<hint> it's a tad more complex then "not telling lies and liking routine"

My 5YO, who has moderate ASD/LD cannot be left unsupervised. My v. high functioning Aspergers DD, with no speech/language or learning disability could not be left unsupervised at 5. Ditto my NT, sensible and streetwise DS1.

Pagwatch Sun 18-Sep-11 11:51:52

I wouldn't let any child of 5 play out unsupervised.

But is the usual response to posting a thread and getting disagreed with, to repost to try and get a different opinion? If you are sure you are right isn't there a point when you just accept that not everyone is going to agree with you? If this goes tits up will you start another thread?

I am just curious.

Hulababy Sun 18-Sep-11 11:56:41

I wouldn't let any 5yo play out unsupervised personally.

squidworth Sun 18-Sep-11 12:08:47

A useful phrase for autism "if you have met one person with autism, you have met ONE person with autism". It is a huge spectrum from a person described as having a few quirks to someone whose life is disabilised by autism. ASD or no ASD I would not like a five year old to play unsupervised.

festi Sun 18-Sep-11 12:42:50

I think the issue from ops original thread in the week is that the boy wanders off without his parents being aware of it. he had left the road they lived in whilst playing with her DCs.

halcyondays Sun 18-Sep-11 12:50:27

Yes, that's right, festi, he didn't stay in own street, but had wandered off and his dad didn't know where he was but didn't seem overly concerned. All children with ASD are different, but I live in a cul de sac, lots of 4 and 5 year olds play out, but only in their own street. They wouldn't be allowed to go any further, from what I can see. I don't think any child of that age should be playing out if they can't be relied on to stay nearby, in their own street.

lesley33 Sun 18-Sep-11 13:46:46

As he has SN YANBU. But in many other countries e.g. Germany, children aged 5 routinely get to and from school themselves. That would include taking ordinary buses in large cities.

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