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driving dd without a seatbelt on(11 Posts)
DD - 11(y6), ASD
I am fed up with DD not going to school on time.
I try am patient, help her get ready, coax her, bribe her, anything I can do to just get her to school as soon as I can. The problem is getting out of bed, and school itself, which is 'pointless' and 'not fair' because she has to spend too much time 'not being able to talk to my friends' i.e. - being quiet in class.
This is playing havoc with my work.
This morning I lost my temper and dragged her into the car in her PJ's and drove off.
She climbed into the passenger seat, and refused to wear the seatbelt. I was just relieved she didn't try to open the door whilst we were moving. The drive is 5 mins max, but involves a busy country road. Now I feel awful, and realise how reckless and dangerous that was.
How do you get your asd school reluctant kids to school?
Could you go somewhere first?
Swimming? Costa coffee? Bakery? McDonalds?
I found that the more stressed I got about being on time, the more ds dug his heels in. Now we have a long relaxed and fairly ritualistic morning routine. Everything is laid out ready for him and done for him, and he just follows it like he's on a production line. He has about 45 minutes spare time when he does screen stuff, but he has to get ready first.
If she's struggling to get out of bed then she's probably not getting enough sleep, so you might want to start by addressing sleep.
Seatbelt is non-negotiable though. I realise you were mega stressed but I think by that stage you are probably in a heightened state of stress yourself and not thinking clearly. If it means sitting it out and waiting that's just what you have to do.
Her routine is settled in bed around 8.30/8.45pm, and I wake her up at 7.30am. As far as I know she sleeps well.
Mind you, last night she had a blow-out and was not settled by mid night, so I knew this morning was not going to be easy. She's already missed one day of school this week (and me work) so I was determined to get her there today.
The thing is that the stress hormones from a meltdown will take potentially more than 24 hours to recede, so she might not be getting as good a sleep as you think if she's in this cycle.
I admire your determination but I'm not sure it's the best way to approach it. Probably time for a re-think. Have you read 'The Explosive Child'? And used the problem solving approach with her. It takes time but it is worth it.
Driving her without a seatbelt is a message to you that your own stress levels are too high and you need to help yourself first. I mean that kindly
We can never ever tell Dd3 that we are late, it sends her into a complete flap and nothing gets done.
I understand that you need to be at work but if she is refusing her seatbelt or opening car doors then I think you are at crisis point.
Can you start work slightly later to take the pressure off? When Dd3 was really struggling in yr 6 we just used to get her in when we could without adding to an already stressful start to the day.
If your Dd is hormonal then mornings are going to be a real ball ache for a time to come yet!
If she is hormornal, has Asd and is demand avoidant like mine is then hang on to your hat it could be a bumpy ride!!
Be kind to yourself
God we went through this stage last October, it was hellish i ended up going three months without pay because i couldnt get him into school, one day it was 12pm before we got him in. What i have done in my car though is put the childproof locks on so he cannot open the door whilst we are moving, i also put the window locks on when he was sticking all parts of his body out the window, we did speak to school and school were good, they started letting him walk through the main entrance till he got comfortable enough to go back to breakfast club.
Is she happy at school? I dragged, bribed, promised for 5 years he started a specialist school last September. I have to bribe occasionally now say once a fortnight usually after a rough day, or if he's very tired instead of every day.
Used to go in with the aid of the back of his sweatshirt most mornings in fact a 'concerned parent' went to the head once with concerns over how I got him into school! Did she offer to help pick up his water bottle, or book bag NO went to the head with concerns! We used to get there 5 minutes late to avoid a meltdown in front of everyone school complained apparently it disrupted the class, and throwing himself on the floor doesn't!!!.
I think the deep down reason is that she doesn't see the point of school. She can read, write, and add up, so therefore, what more is there to learn??
Lessons just get in the way of playing/chatting with friends.
She is happy at school and has friends. Teacher is happy with her work, and she seems to be doing ok. She could probably achieve more academically, but she is not interested in doing so. She is much more a creative/artistic type. School are good, and supportive.
I am worried about my job. I am so often late and cannot offer to stay late.
Shazz - I'd put the child locks on but she climbed through into the front passenger seat. This has been going on for 18months on and off. I am tired of it and don't know what to do.
We have driven without a seatbelt for very short stretches when it would be more dangerous to stop or deal with child having meltdown e.g. on a motorway. Obviously we stop when it is safe to do so. We have had times when the risk of a meltdown is so high that we do not take ds2 in the car unless there is two adults. We force neither to get in the car unless they are willing - both respond quite well to being given an extra 5 minutes. Yes, it can make us a bit late but is normally means we get there in a calmer and quicker state in the long run.
For us child-locks are an absolute no - because it increases ds1's anxiety in case he can't get out - so that he will explode. So despite both of mine on occasions getting out of the car (luckily when stationary) and run for my ds's this is the safest option. I think the child-locks give ds1 a claustrophobic feeling. You have to evaluate for you child whether it is the safest thing to do or not.
It doesn't sound like school is causing major anxiety or distress the way you have described it rather there is little incentive for you dd to go because she views it as pointless. Can you think of an incentive for her to go. Either home-based reward or preferably some sort of first thing transition task at school that she would enjoy. For ds2 at one stage this was as simple as being tasked with topping up the feed on the bird tables.
Would it help to start your morning routine 30 minutes earlier (possibly might prolong the agony) so everything is less time constrained and you are therefore more relaxed. We used to aim to be at school ten minutes early so even if things didn't go to plan we had a good safety cushion. I know some people have found a visual timetable of morning tasks takes some of the demand element of the morning again making it all a lot calmer.
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