Home Safety

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bmcgraw, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. bmcgraw

    bmcgraw New Member

    Looking for some advice on how to create a safe, functional, but age-appropriate bedroom for an 11-yr old with multiple conduct disorders, including Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). She is destructive, even when attempting not to be (she has picked the dry wall paper off the wall, the caulking out of the window frame, pulled all curtains/blinds out of the wall). She is trying hard, but seems to self-sabatoge everything she likes. Does anyone have any resources and guidance on how to make her personal space safer, but still nice?
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I've never faced those circumstances so no expert advise coming your way. on the other hand having raised so many over the years I think the less cluttered a bedroom is (actually any room) the easier it is for kids to feel settled. It sounds a bit silly but too many toys, books and even clothes in a room can trigger anxiety. Closets hung with only a few choices, dresser drawers with just a couple of pairs of underwear/socks etc. makes it wasy to make choices and it also limits the tendency to toss things around the room. Of course, the remainder of the clothes are switched out so the dirty ones go to the laundry room and are immediately replaced with clean.

    Regarding walls, curtains, rugs etc. I would guess that the sturdier and simpler the better. Low maintenance and not too expensive seems like a good idea. I've also never had a "picker" in the family but maybe someone here will have a suggestion for providing some type of acceptable object to use when those urges come forth. I'm not too creative so I can't think of anything, lol. Good luck. DDD
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I am no expert but I will share a few ideas that pops in my mind:
    get some drywall at your nearest home improvement store and cut it in 1 sqft squares (it cuts easily but does create dust), tell her that she can use those when she needs to "pick" at something. Those are cheap and are not toxic (unless you inhale TOO MUCH dust).
    How about those stress balls? Personnally, I always want to pick on them. Maybe have a backet full of them for her. They also have the advantage of being soft enough that they can't really be used in a dangerous way.
    Make sure your floor is strong and easy maintenance: I would go with full vynil flooring because it is cheap, durable and no seams (could be tempting to pull tile off). It comes in variety of color and pattern.
    I would keep furniture to a minimum and make sure they are anchored to the floor (hardware store should provide every thing you need).
    I second the importance of clutter free and just a few choices of toys, clothes... (I see it already with my difficult child).
    Instead of curtains, could you paint the walls with "fake curtains". It would obviously serve no purpose but make the room look pretty. All depends how artistic you guys are. Paint is cheap and if destroyed, you can always repaint.
    I'm sure others will have more ideas. Just pick and choose what fits your situation!
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree to get things she CAN pick at. I have found some spiky stress balls at WalMart and also at a shop called autismshop.com. A thought that comes to my mind about the curtain situation is Velcro the curtains to the top of the window frame instead of installing curtain rods. When they are torn down, they don't cause damage and and can easily be put back up. It's just a thought until she stops.
  5. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    You didn't mention if it is your own home or if you are renting?

    I would think no matter what surface you will put up on her walls [drywall, paneling or painted plywood as a less expensive alternative], short of tiling the walls, there is always potential for creative damage. I would keep it as simple as possible. If you got drywall [sheetrock] and you don't can't or want to change it, I would use the same paint for the entire room, no fancy two or three tone designs, certainly no wallpaper. It it is your own house and the walls look like mice are having a field day, consider putting 4x8 sheets of inexpensive plywood on the bottom half of the walls and paint it. She'll probably still pick on it, but the actual damage on the walls will be less and it is easily removeable again, when/if she outgrows it. This is also a safe way of covering up electric outlets, if you are concerned about her putting things into them.

    For window coverings - roller shades. They are very inexpensive, easy to replace or pop back in if she pulls them out and can be covered with fabric or painted to look more friendly. They stay curled up during the day, and at night come down.

    A very plain jane ceiling fixture, which will not cost an arm or a leg to replace.

    Simple furniture - a futon matress on the floor if necessary, maybe a beanbag chair [unless you think she'll take it apart], then I would look for a comfortable upholstered second hand living room type chair. She'll need something comfortable to cuddle up and relax, maybe read. I'd keep the furniture as utilitarian and plain as possible, consider second hand if she damages a lot. The more she breaks, the less she gets to have.

    If she has electronics, you might want to consider having her "checking them out" library style and returning again after so much time, so it is not a temptation to mess around with when she is by herself. If something gets broken while she has it "checked out", it will not get replaced. Some kids at 11 are still very innocent, others are full in the swing of peer pressure, social life, and worse. I'd say you need to adjust to who she is, or perhaps share some more info on her in order to get better advice.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    Shutters may be an option for the windows. They are secured more sturdily than blinds or curtains. I was thinking paneling for the walls. Less to pick at and if you couple that with stuff he is allowed to pick at then they may remain intact. The caulking around the windows needs to get hidden some how - 1x2 strips of wood to make a frame around the window frame?

    I myself am a "picker", but not to the severity of your daughter. Sometimes the urge is just unbearable, AND it is hard to redirect to 'acceptable things'. You can provide her with the acceptable things to pick at (as mentioned in other posts) and set up a reward system where for every week/month that the 'forbidden' things remain untouched and she successfully redirects herself to the 'acceptable' things, she gets some kind of reward.

    As a kid (and I still do it sometimes) I would take regular school glue and spread a thin layer on the palm of my hand. Took 2-3 minutes to dry and then I would peel it off. I'd do that with rubber cement on my desk top as well. Rubber cement was more expensive, but then I'd have a tiny little ball to play with.

    Welcome to the board, and yes, give us some more details. We're here to help!:notalone:
  7. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Hello and welcome to the board! There is paint and sticky paper available to give windows a frosted look. They come in many attractive patterns so you wont need curtains or shades. Giving her stuff to pick at is good. Some fun things are wikki sticks (bendable, cheap, you can vacuum up the "crumbs"), stickers on a board she can peel off, how about building toys that are more complex like Connects (spelling). It sounds like she gets board easy, maybe having some cheap fun dollar stuff that is novel available for use at kitchen table would help. I use those fabric shelves you hand over the closet rod in my daughters room as it just helps keep things visable and easy to put her clothes away-one thing per "shelf" and we only have 2 of them. Paint is great and maybe she would enjoy painting or stencilling her own thing on a wall-she may enjoy this and maybe take pride in her creation. A fitted sheet and comforter is all that's needed on the bed. If she does this at sleep time, how about relaxing music she can hear. Though she is 11, reading aloud is something all kids love. I teach kids her age and they are tranced by it. The library has many sophisticated picture books for older kids, this may help relaxation so she doesn't engage in the wallboard damaging thing at night. Comforting and sedating colors are soft like light pink. Take off the closet doors -we did this and added a cute curtain on a tention rod (though she may pull this down). Good luck, I bet more suggestions will follow!
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    We rent and difficult child 1 has been destructive. We've covered his bedroom floor to protect the carpet. We've also taken off the closet doors and kept stuff to a small amount. One of his therapists said only 20 things, including clothes, in his room. (That didn't last long, but we're trying.) We have his toys and books in a different room.