Local mom Brandi shares a free resource for families with children with special needs.
My son (6) has Autism, Developmental Delay, and Disruptive Behavior Disorder. He loves to run, and doesn’t recognize when he is in a dangerous situation. For my family, we realized the need for some sort of safety-net when my 2 year old stood by the window, looking outside and calling his brother’s name. As I walked over to the window to take a look for myself I said “why are you calling him, he isn’t out there? Daddy is out there cutting grass.” Much to my dismay (and surprise) my 6 year old son had unlocked the door and ran outside to meet his dad on the mower. Thankfully, my 2 year old had saved his brother from a possible tragedy.
After our close call, I started searching for something, anything, to notify us each time the door was opened. Or, at the very least, deter my son from opening the door and going out again. That is when I discovered the Big Red Safety Box®. When our box arrived, approximately 4-6 weeks later, I couldn’t open it fast enough.
What is The Big Red Safety Box®?
The Big Red Safety Box® is a resource program for families with individuals with Autism. It is a grant program, however, they ask that if you are able to Pay It Forward that you do so via donation. Every donation helps to provide these life-saving resources to other families in need. $35 will cover the cost of providing a Big Red Safety Box® at no charge to a family in need.
What’s in The Big Red Box?
Two (2) Door/Window Alarms
One (1) MedicAlert Bracelet or Pendant, and One (1) Shoe ID tag
Five (5) Laminated Adhesive Stop Sign Visual Prompts
Two (2) Safety Alert Window Clings for car or home
One (1) Red Safety Alert Wristband
One (1) Child ID Kit from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The door alarms are, by far, the most used item in our house. They are used every day in our house; we even took them on vacation with us. We simply used the 3MTM Command Adhesive Strips to put them on the doors at the beach house (especially the door going out to the pool, YIKES!) The strips allowed us to remove them at the end of the week with no signs of the alarms left behind. My second favorite item in the box is the Safety Alert Window Clings for the car. This is a great tool because it alerts first responders, in case of an accident, that my son may not respond to any verbal commands if the driver is physically unable to provide this information. The Child ID Kit is another great tool. It is always a good idea to have your child registered with a program such as this one in case they are ever missing. You will not have to dig for a picture of them because it will already be on file as well as any pertinent information such as Autism or other special needs.
What I don’t love about The Big Red Box®
But even The Big Red Box® isn’t perfect. The Safety Alert Wristband is a rubber wristbands, way too big for many small kids, including my 6 year old. For us, we use a key chain to attach the wristband to his backpack. We also don’t use the laminated adhesive stop signs very often. Mostly because we haven’t felt a need for those yet, but it is great to know we have them in case we need them.Overall, the Big Red Box® is a great program and has given us a huge sense of safety. If our son decides to ignore the alarm, at least we will know that he has opened the door and possibly gone outside. For us, that’s huge!
To apply for a Big Red Safety Box® visit www.nationalautismassociation.org.
Do you know a family who could benefit from a Big Red Safety Box®?