Fascination with Sewer Grates

Joshua has a fascination with sewer grates.  I’m not sure how it started but I feel an incredible pull on my arm as we walk to and from the bus, or anywhere Joshua spots a sewer grate.  Sometimes he lays down on the ground to put a rock he picked up down into the grate so he can watch the water splash when the rock drops.  It’s incredibly hard to redirect him as we make our way across a cross walk, or what have you and he contorts his body so as to reach for a rock or try to look inside a grate.  What I do find funny is when he looks in, if it’s dried up, it’s rejected.  It must have water in order for him to put a rock down it.  He may be autistic, but he knows the purpose of a sewer grate!  It’s to make a satisfying SPLASH when you drop a rock down it!

Now, some would say this is just some innocent thing a child does.  And it is, as I can see the pure delight he, and his 6 year old brother have in dropping a rock down and hearing the splash.  What I’m having to work with him is on how to do such an activity safely.  It’s not okay to get out in the road and check out the grate and look for rocks.  It’s not okay to pull on my arm and contort his body toward the ground so as to get a rock or put one in a grate.  We will be working on how to ask this summer and being safe.  It will take many trials but I know he’s smart enough to get the message.

Safety is our number one goal and we not only have the grates to worry about, but also our gates in our fences.  Joshua managed to escape again yesterday and we didn’t know it until a kind neighbor came up and told us.  I was fixing dinner and the kids, who had been outside with Joshua, migrated inside.  Josh stayed outside and considering how he’s been getting into things inside (ie. my china hutch and the fridge), outside and exploring/playing in the yard was  a better alternative.  However, this does not involve escaping from the yard and exploring the park down the street, unauthorized and unsupervised.  I am so grateful that he was safe and a neighbor was keeping him out of the street.  However, as another neighbor cautioned us, we simply can’t depend upon the gates.  She’s right.  We now have the rule that when Josh is outside, the kids are taking turns being with him.  We are also going to be investing in not only better latches, but a safety bracelet that will alert us if Joshua goes out of range.  I’m so thankful for technology!

This could be Joshua...

How big of a rock can you get through those bars? Imagine the SPLASH!

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 18th, 2011 at 12:35 am and is filed under Autism Treatment, General Autism Info. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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