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How to drill road safety in DS after near miss.

(24 Posts)
Babieseverywhere Tue 09-Feb-16 10:14:17

DS is fine and unhurt.

But this morning he ran into the road in front of a moving car, which luckily did an emergency stop and stopped in time.

I was walking behind slightly and on the other side of the road with the youngest girls. 7.5yo DS was walking as a trial with his big sister 9.5yo DD1.

Obviously trial is over and he is back to walking by my side every day but despite him being clever he has zero street smarts.

I have spend years training all my kids to cross roads and I would rather trust 5yo DD2 on a road (not really but she actually looks for traffic) rather than DS !

Any recommendations for ideas for behaviour changing, book, apps anything to help him understand.

He will look if I ask him too. He will get upset if I say it is safe to cross, if he sees a car in the far distance. As I told him not to cross when cars are near. But if I don't prompt him to look, he steps off the kerb with no warning and I pull him back onto the kerb.

But he seemed to get better at looking for traffic, the last few weeks hence the trial with his sister.

Nearly everyone in his class Year 3 is walking on their own now and yet he isn't safe.

He was so upset going into school(daily occurrence anyway) but because I was telling him off (no shouting) no fear about the near miss....Sigh.

ValiantMouse Tue 09-Feb-16 12:33:50

I'd have either shouted or given him a smack for running out in front of the car. He's obviousuly not taking you seriously when you tell him to look. Basically a short sharp shock to drive home the gravity of the situation.

Another thing you can try is letting him lead you- he decides if it's safe, if it isn't, you explain why. Does he know the green cross code? Can you get him to tell you it before going out every time?

PippaHotamus Tue 09-Feb-16 12:44:37

It sounds as if he has a problem assessing speed and distance. I don't think smacking him or shouting at him will work - it will just make it worse.

Children always have difficulty with perception of the speed of vehicles, to a certain age, and most will eventually get it.

You don't say if he has any other issues that might relate to this? Processing information, dyslexia, dyspraxia...? Or is he just fooling around?

You need to establish the cause before you go about sorting it.

Babieseverywhere Tue 09-Feb-16 15:47:20

Nothing wrong with him. He is very clumsy, struggles to get dressed etc...but only to a normal level.
He is academically bright but no common sense.

He walked home 6 feet behind me, crying the whole he thought I was going to shout at him. Then he stood outside in the rain for 5 minutes refusing to come in the house. I calmly said that was his choice and shut the front door, when he came to the door I opened it for him.

Poor DS everything is a source of anxiety of him...but good road sense is essential.

Yes, I do the stop, look and listen. Calm walking across roads. Ask children when they think it is safe to cross etc.

kickassangel Tue 09-Feb-16 15:54:28

When I did a child development course there was some research that most children can't accurately judge speed/distance etc until about 10 years old. Other children may be walking alone, but they have probably been taught to leave a huge gap before crossing, rather than making an accurate assessment.

anyway - does he get anxious/excited easily? That can affect how well a child 'reads' the situation they're in.

You say that there's nothing wrong with him, but his anxiety sounds pretty high. It can really affect everything about how people behave and react to the world around them.

Jesabel Tue 09-Feb-16 15:59:45

High levels of anxiety, and struggling with dressing at his age do sound a little outside the norm.

caravanista Tue 09-Feb-16 16:05:14

Shouting or a smack - really helpful. It sounds as if he doesn't have the maturity to make safe judgements - give him time. X

IsItMeOr Tue 09-Feb-16 16:14:29

He's sounding a bit like nearly 7yo DS, although he has asperger's/high functioning ASD.

Not seeking to diagnose your DS, by the way. Just that some of the things that help DS might help yours.

For DS, writing things down seems to help. So I guess for this one, I might write down the steps to crossing the road, and then look at them with DS. I would "shadow" him on the walk for a period, and reward him when I saw him doing each of the steps (e.g. a point for each of x steps, and a tangible reward for y points, like small lego set/magazine).

We have other problems to focus on at the moment with DS, so not sure when we'll be preparing him to walk to school independently!

stayathomegardener Tue 09-Feb-16 16:17:03

DD 17 is still not great with roads.
Two things she was saying recently were 1. after repeatedly shouting at her to look both ways she used to turn her head from side to side although had no clear idea what she was actually meant to be judging.
And 2. she switched off totally near roads when with me as knew I would take responsibility.
I don't think it helped that we are very rural and school journey was by car.

PippaHotamus Tue 09-Feb-16 19:28:08

I'm also not convinced that he is within the bounds of normal if he's finding it all this difficult.

My 8yo is probably the type to find crossing roads hard - though he's never alone, doing it - but he has AS. He's very bright, but finds dressing hard work, and is also extremely anxious about all sorts of things.

I'm not saying your child has this or that. But I think I would be monitoring what exactly his difficulties are, and writing it down and then maybe googling a bit.

Babieseverywhere Tue 09-Feb-16 20:10:47

Definately not ASD related. We had DS assessed last year, as I mistakenly thought his similar behaviour and personality to my brother (who has adhd and aspergers) might mean something but it didn't thank goodness.

None of the worrying behaviour seen at home is seen at school. Therefore he is currently under CAMHS to see if they can correct my poor parenting (which they tell me is why DS is so anxious)

But I managed to safely road train my oldest DD1 and I am very confident that DD2 is picking it up already. I just need a different approach for DS.

IsItMeOr Tue 09-Feb-16 20:13:37

Okay, so you want a different approach. Did any of my suggestions sound like they might work for your DS?

Babieseverywhere Tue 09-Feb-16 20:25:54

I like the idea of write down the steps and explaining on detail what to do and why we are doing get him to understand.

I do ask him when does he think it is safe to cross the road and praise him if he does is correctly. He has limited interests usually centred around Minecraft and Terriata...not really bribery options...maybe I could try small coins for his piggy bank.

Think I will have a look on Amazon for a simple kids book on crossing roads too.

Babieseverywhere Tue 09-Feb-16 20:27:20

Also need to check if he actually knows what he is meant to be looking at when I ask him to check the road.

IsItMeOr Tue 09-Feb-16 20:33:03

That all sounds sensible.

How about those minecraft hangers as bribes? One of the TAs took her DDs collection in to show DS and he was thrilled.

DS is very happy with hard cash as a motivator.

Lurkedforever1 Tue 09-Feb-16 20:33:25

Could you find some gruesome (for his age, rather than graphic maiming ) YouTube clips, and photos of what can happen when you forget to look first? And frighten him slightly about how important it is?

Babieseverywhere Tue 09-Feb-16 21:05:59

LOVE the hangers...just Googled

yes, good idea for a bribe.

Lurker, I know what you mean but anything that is graphic would send him spinning. This child refuses to sleep in his own room and only goes to the bathroom if someone is upstairs.

We had to remove him from swimming lessons, as even with someone in the water to help him....he just screamed repeatedly and refused to swim a length (widths only) as he was afraid the deep end had sharks in it. All the books and videos about sharks where they lived, the fact the pool was fresh water and filled by a tap did not calm his fears.

A car accident youtube video would have him waking up even more with nightmares!

IsItMeOr Tue 09-Feb-16 23:06:13

Babies the hangers are awesome, aren't they? I hadn't come across them until the TA mentioned them, then held myself back from buying them to keep them special for what she is working on with him (emotional literacy, which seems like a good thing).

Have you come across the Explosive Child book?

There's a related website which you can get an idea of the approach/whether it might be a fit for your DS.

It isn't based on any specific diagnosis.

Babieseverywhere Wed 10-Feb-16 21:32:09

I thought the explosive books were aimed at asperger children...hence not relevant for us...but I will look at it again.

Any how, DS walked with me to school thus morning and got there safely.

I just hope he sleeps tonight...tomorrow us non uniform day and he hates them. He has already cried twice this evening worrying that he will get into trouble fir not wearing his uniform.

I normally reassure him texts and letters from school outlining non uniform dates etc. This year I am trying a new approach, send him in his uniform with non uniform clothes in his school bag. He can change at school if he wants too.

WombOfOnesOwn Thu 11-Feb-16 09:53:51

I was this child. I can't say how many times I had to be held back to avoid walking directly into the path of oncoming vehicles. At age four, it was normal. By age ten, not so much. I was so "in my head," usually thinking about whatever book I'd been reading lately, that "look both ways" was advice I knew I should follow but never actually bothered with.

My mother held my hand as we crossed the street until I was probably fourteen or fifteen! Embarrassing for a teenage girl? Yes, but by then I'd also figured out that I was TERRIBLE at judging when to cross, and was better off with her help. I even used to get friends to help me in this way.

I'm 31 now, and very, very pregnant with my first child, and my mother teases that he'll be just how I was. I don't have trouble with cars any more. Oddly enough, the change came when I learned how to drive -- I think understanding how drivers saw pedestrians made it easier for me to comprehend what I needed to look out for.

IsItMeOr Thu 11-Feb-16 10:14:09

Explosive Child isn't asperger's babies. It's applicable to any child who has explosive outbursts (or significant withdrawals) - it was your son's swimming pool incident that made me think of it.

The technique is collaborative problem solving - which basically does what it says on the tin, so is a practice to develop skills in your child (and you!) rather than a quick fix. I found it was applicable to my work life at the time, as much as DS.

I've also found the How to Talk so Kid's Listen book was helpful.

The mindset you're trying to get into is characterised as positive parenting. So depending on what resonates with you, you could try The Incredible Years or Playful Parenting. And probably plenty more in that territory that I haven't read.

And the secret that the experts don't seem to have conveyed to us very successfully is that if you used these approaches with any child, they would certainly be no worse off and probably be better off.

Babieseverywhere Thu 11-Feb-16 19:35:23

I love the 'how to talk' book and sibling rivialy. Thanks I will look at that explosive book again smile

IsItMeOr Thu 11-Feb-16 19:39:43

The bit I found most helpful about the explosive book was somebody convincingly (to me) making the case that DS would do what we wanted him to if he could. So he isn't because he can't, not because he won't.

Possibly sounds trite in that summary, but it makes a huge difference to how I think about him although he can still push my buttons sometimes, oh yes

Babieseverywhere Fri 12-Feb-16 23:40:32

DS will get it when he is ready...just need to keep teaching him and wait until he gets it.

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