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When do I allow my son some freedom

(35 Posts)
HadABadDay2014 Sun 16-Mar-14 18:27:15

He is coming up 8 and is asd.

He wants to go out on his own but I am scared to let him out on his own.

He can be a danger to himself and mentally he is like a 3-4 year old.

I have thought of drop off clubs, but don't know if this would be wise incase the club leaders don't know how to cater for children with asd.

wonderingsoul Sun 16-Mar-14 18:33:53

i reached that point yesterday, though nethier of mine have asd or other needs.. other then being quite imerture for their ages.. and eldest 8 would easly led away.. by a cat... we live in a flat with a shared garded thats not secure. i opened my windows and let them out on their own to play.

im quite laid back in a lot of ways but leting them out to play with out me is a big panicy thing for me.

in your situation i th ink i would be worse, if mentally hes alot younger.

does he play in the garden on his own? if not that could be a small step..

or like you said have a look round for clubs. you could allways enquire if it was suitabkle? we used to have a youths club that you could drop em off to, they got some independance and there still be looked after?

or is there a little shop near by.. could you let him go to the shops for some sweets/magazine? build up that way?

HadABadDay2014 Sun 16-Mar-14 18:38:17

He would have to cross a main road.

There is a park around the corner ( literally 5 minutes walk) with 1 small road.

It's hard trying to explain why all his friends from school are allowed out to play and he is not.

Runningtrainers Sun 16-Mar-14 18:43:12

Feel for you OP as in exactly the same boat! My DD plays outside on her own but we are very rural and I am constantly watching through the window but most of the time I'm outside with her too. It's getting tougher as they are getting older as peers are now doing things like sleepovers etc but my DD is so vulnerable!

wonderingsoul Sun 16-Mar-14 18:43:58

could you drop hi m off there, tell him your'll be back in 30- 60 minutes... maybe with a friend?

i have the same sort of problem wi th ds1..l some of his friends are allowed round town to do what ever.. and im just not comfortable with it.

some people see it as not letting kids be kids.. but you know what im cool with that, id rarther that then be like some of his class mates swearing and being mean to randomers on the odd occasion we see them out.

lilsupersparks Sun 16-Mar-14 18:44:43

I would definitely try a club. They may not have experience of asd but I'm sure they would be keen to learn and they won't ever get experience unless people talk to them. I would give some a call and explain his needs and see what they say. What about cubs/scouts?

Delphiniumsblue Sun 16-Mar-14 19:13:33

I would recommend Cubs as a good starting point.

GertTheFlirt Sun 16-Mar-14 19:19:46

Mental age of 3-4? No way if you mean an emotional age of 3-4.

Mind you my eldest only has a reading age of 9 but he has always been very canny and streetwise. I let him out from about 7-8.

capsium Sun 16-Mar-14 19:23:32

Other things you can try is letting him walk ahead of you when out and watching what he does. Ask for his opinion crossing roads, let him take the lead.

itiswhatitiswhatitis Sun 16-Mar-14 19:25:07

I think you have to judge by his capabilities rather than his age and what his friends are doing unfortunately. My ds1 has been playing out the front of our house since he was 5 but has no SN. Ds2 is 6 and also has asd no way I would let him go out the front alone yet. I have just started to allow him out with his brother as long as the front door is open and I can check every few minutes.

OddBoots Sun 16-Mar-14 19:28:53

Don't feel pressured into doing anything at a particular age because you think you ought to, all children are different, especially if you throw ASD into the mix.

If you feel he is ready for more freedom then maybe take him to the park but leave him playing while you retire to a distance where you can keep an eye on him but you're not right there - bring a mug of coffee and a book and just take half an hour to see how he copes.

capsium Sun 16-Mar-14 19:33:26

Get him a watch and for example in a park ask him to come to where you are sitting in 10 minutes for a drink.

HadABadDay2014 Sun 16-Mar-14 19:33:56

Will look into clubs.

I don't want to hold him back but it's judging between keeping him safe and allowing him freedom.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 16-Mar-14 19:59:22

My dd is 3 - very nearly 4 so I can tell you what she is doing right now which may give you ideas for your ds.

She is allowed to play alone in the garden. I watch her from the window a lot but I let her get on with it.

Her clubs are starting to be "leave" ones - generally parents are nearby though - watching from a balcony, sitting in the coffee bar etc. I have never left the premises. They also generally last for up to an hour.

I'd contact the clubs and see what they think. I second the Scouting movement. We had 3 guides with different disabilities in our guides more than 20 years ago and were able to cater for them. (Anyone who says it is impossible to take a guide in a wheelchair on a 5 mile hike over very rough terrain is just not trying hard enough!)

I would advise clubs where he will be one of the older ones eg Beavers for 6 - 8 year olds rather than cubs for 8 - 10 year olds as they will expect less independence wise.

Also could you be some for of "invisible helper" eg hiding in the kitchen making 27 glasses of squash and mixing paint would mean you were on hand if a problem but not actually cramping his style IYSWIM?

MammaTJ Sun 16-Mar-14 20:17:05

It is so hard. My DD has ADHD I know it, the school know it, they are just protecting her from a diagnosis.

DD1 was allowed out to play at 4 1/2, like most around here.

I would have let DS out at the same age, but DD2 is only 54 weeks older. I couldn't be unfair, so kept them both in.

I started letting them out last Easter. We have had some horrible and scary things happen but nothing too damaging. DD tagged along with a friend of mine and insisted on following her to walk her dog, on a route she knows well with me but across a main road and absolutely not where she is allowed. She came home all full of 'I went for a walk to the duck pond with R's Nanny' and I shot her down. R's Nanny caught up with me the next day and said she tried to send my DD back, didn't have time to bring her back herself (which I totally understand) and she hoped she was ok. We have now exchanged numbers.

DD also thought that the man we used to see every day on the bus was a 'friend' and I have had to be quite harsh in disabusing her of that thought. He groped my then 10 year old God Daughter on the bus and has been beckoning kids in to his house. I told DD he is a bad man and likes to hurt little girls, so stay away. She now gets it.

You have to do what is best for you child. I am lucky in that I will be told pretty much everything quite quickly, everyone knows everyone, is it like that where you are?

MammaTJ Sun 16-Mar-14 20:18:12

DD is 8 1/2 and DS is 7 1/2.

imnotmymum Sun 16-Mar-14 20:20:43

mmm 8 is young IMO I would not let my 10 year old boy o his own at park clubs good though I think but I would not worry too much at 8 still little x x x

MammaTJ Sun 16-Mar-14 20:25:26

My DD loves clubs. She does Girls brigade (there is a boy one, but it is religious) and karate. The karate has been great for her, routine, set structure, getting out energy..................

LottieJenkins Sun 16-Mar-14 20:26:03

OP. I used to walk DS2 (autistic and deaf) to the park when he was nine and then pick him up about forty minutes later. Do message me if I can help!!

youarewinning Sun 16-Mar-14 20:34:02

My. DS (9) (SN and suggested it AS) will play in the park directly opposite very occasionally with some children. However he tends to stay in the park alone if they disappear off up the street. He has boundaries he can go as far as. We have had problems but tbh he won't go out unless it's just the 'kind' children.

He does do cubs but is resisting that ATM. I'm letting him go when he wants because it's due to the fact they changed leaders and therefore made change!

I think if he wants to do it then a good start would be you following him and his friends and sitting a distance away and watching. I understand the worry though - it's not a worry things may happen but more we know when they do our dCs won't cope the same as their peers and in my. DS case he's very (too!) easily led!

HadABadDay2014 Sun 16-Mar-14 21:44:26

I love MN. I think without it I would lose my mind.

Thank you once again for the advice I know I tend to start a lot of threads, but once again the support has been amazing.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 21:54:22

Mine was allowed out on his own out of my sight at 7. There was a group of about 6 boys aged 7-10 and he went around with them. One of the boys was the same age as him and that boy's brother was 9. This was in 1997 , none of them had mobile phones. They used to go to the park on their own Our street is a terrace which has a large locked private garden which belongs to all the houses in the street. They played a lot there. You can't see much of it from the houses. They were fine.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 21:56:24

Sorry please ignore my post. It's not relevant as none of the boys had special needs.

HadABadDay2014 Sun 16-Mar-14 21:59:28

Caitlin I will not ignore your reply as it is relevant, I want ds to lead a normal life as long as his safety is met.

Perhaps I could pay a teen to befriend him at the park

Jollyphonics Sun 16-Mar-14 22:03:08

Well I must be very protective because DS1 is 8.5, no special needs, and I don't let him out in his own, nor has he ever asked.

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