With autism you have to learn to live with the fact that a persons chronological age may not match their developmental age. I find it best to deal with this by not remembering Ethan’s physical age until his birthday.
Unfortunately with getting older you grow and the baby items that you have used to keep your little one safe no longer do.
The car seat hasn’t been the first thing that we have had work out but it has been the one that has caused us the most concern. Ethan needs to be safe in the car, not for him but for all of us.
Ethan is now on his third car seat, last year we had to purchase a stage 3 seat. Knowing that Ethan was nowhere near losing the five point harness we decided on buying a Graco. The five point harness had more room to grow than his previous car seat.
It has been perfect for the past year but we have been conscious of his weight, and we knew he was getting to big for the harness. So last weekend we took the plunge and removed the harness ready to just use the car seat with the normal car seat belt.
I think we knew deep down that Ethan wasn’t mentally ready for this change. I think we clung to the hope that he would prove us wrong and the change wouldn’t cause us any problems. We were wrong.
Ethan loved having the restrictive five point harness removed, he could stand in his chair to look out the window. He could reach other to his sister to wake her up. I’m sure given half the chance he would have had a go at driving the car!
This of course isn’t safe and we had to find something that would keep him in one place. Safe and secure in his car seat.
When we went to the Autism Show two years ago we were given a Crelling Harnesses leaflet. Knowing that one day we would need it, kept it in a safe place. I called them and they suggested a Model 28 Steel.
So there I was on Sunday fighting with the harness installation. No easy task, at one point I scared our neighbour as I was in the boot of our car!
I won the battle and the harness is now fully fitted into the car.
The harness fits over the normal seat but can then wrap around Ethan’s car seat.
We still have a few adjustments to make but so far so good. It is keeping Ethan safe in the car and that is what we needed it to do.