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Thread: An indoor swing for my Autistic DGS

  1. #1
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    My grandson Zachary has Autism. He is 9 yrs old He is a high functioning autistic and has a high IQ. But Autism means in the Drs words his brain is wired differantly than ours. He has challenges and daily struggles to live in a world that he doesn't always understand.

    One thing autistics struggle with is the need for sensory input in their day. We all have this need but our daily needs are so much lower than Zachs. We meet our brains need for this with our daily activities. But Zack requires much more to be able to function. It isn't a want it is a need as surely as he needs to eat.

    So we look for ways to fill this need. One way is to provide a swing. We have an outdoor one that is made of tire material and looks like a horse.

    Then we screwed a strong hook in the ceiling and rigged a rope to attach a homemade sling swing. But the hook wore out. So Sara(DD) bought a swing frame that we can take down or put up as needed. She uses it at home outside and hooked a tire swing to it. Then she takes it down and brings it here and I attached Zach's sling swing to it.

    He spends many hours in it and it creates that sensation that he needs. He is less confrontational and it gives him something to do. He has a hard time controlling his emotions and this soothes that tendency to flare at the smallest irritation. He has a low frustration level!

    The material we made the sling swing out of is silky on one side and rough on one side so he gets both textures depending on how he turns the fabric in or out.

    He sits in it and watches TV
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    He pulls it up around him and hides inside. This is another sensory need he is always finding small places to feel enclosed in.
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    Zachary being silly for the camera!
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  2. #2
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    What a great idea!! He is a handsome young man!!!

  3. #3
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Wow, that is a neat idea. Thanks for sharing! Tell him hello from Craftybear!

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    In 2000 I was hired to care for autistic children in a group home. We did hands on activities and provided care 24/7.

    I am so thankful that you brought up this thread and even more thankful that you have the swing for your DGS. I can just hear the delight and laughter in my memory bank from being with these children. Bless you.....

  5. #5
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Most people think I'm weird if I mention we have a swing in our living room!! LOL

    I saw a porch swing mounted in a living room in a magazine a long time ago and always wanted to do that!! This one is not up all the time. When he no longer needs it I would love to put up a porch swing in place of a chair or one of my two couches. Someday maybe.

  6. #6
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    what a doll!!

  7. #7
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Great kid - great granny!

  8. #8
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    My autistic GS, 6 years old yesterday, is living with us. He sounds exactly like your DGS. Same temperment, same emotional needs, same sensory issues..... The swing sounds awesome!

  9. #9
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kay carlson
    In 2000 I was hired to care for autistic children in a group home. We did hands on activities and provided care 24/7.

    I am so thankful that you brought up this thread and even more thankful that you have the swing for your DGS. I can just hear the delight and laughter in my memory bank from being with these children. Bless you.....
    The one thing about these kids or at least Zach is there is no mean bone in his body!! LOL He has however learned a few retaliation moves from his brother and sister but he would never sit and think how can I get back at him. He has learned to hit back when pushed too far which really isn't all bad.

    I love to see his ear to ear grin and his laughter is infectious. He has quite a sense of humor. When Sara asks him if he loves her he says 5 days he loves her 5 days worth! LOL so the other day I asked what happens after 5 days and he says 5 more days!! LOL Then I asked him if he loves his Grandma Rhonda and he says I already loved you!! LOL The way his mind works is so funny!!

  10. #10
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim's Gem
    What a great idea!! He is a handsome young man!!!
    Thanks Jim's Gem He looks alot like my DH did when he was little. We think he is the bee's knees!! LOL I don't favor any one grand over another but Zach will always be special.

  11. #11
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    Rhonda, as you know my 2 boys have Asperger's... so I can relate.The swing sounds awesome, and Zach looks like he enjoys it and is making good use out of it.
    I think Kyle would have gotten some use out of something like that... but when he was that age he was undiagnosised and seriously misunderstood.
    One thing you can tell Zach is that he gets to swing on his swing even when it's snowing outside and everyone else has to wait until it gets nice out!!!

    Theresa

  12. #12
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    Great kid - great granny!
    Thanks Clem and Mad. He is a great kid. He does so well in the environment he is in. He is going into 4th grade and he does the same work as his classmates just not as much of it. He has an aide that goes with him through his day and keeps him on track and he does really well! We marval at how much he has progressed over the last year or two. He has just made great leaps and bounds in his understanding and comprehension.
    He can do things on the internet I don't know how to do! He discovered he could pause a video and print off a picture of that video. Then he has me cut out a part of that picture - a tree or a picture frame or Sam Wiggles etc and then he tapes those to a paper and draws the story around that picture. He gets really detailed in his imaginary stories!! He is putting them in a spiral notebook and I wil keep those spirals.

    He is so much fun to have around. He loves to roughhouse and tickle and loves the one on one. He is a cuddlebug which is unusual for most autistics. Most can't stand to be touched. But he clings to Sara's legs and tells her he is a koala bear and she is the tree! LOL

  13. #13
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeysnana
    My autistic GS, 6 years old yesterday, is living with us. He sounds exactly like your DGS. Same temperment, same emotional needs, same sensory issues..... The swing sounds awesome!
    That swing was a life saver. He gets too antzy and bouncing off the walls when he doesn't get some kind of sensory outlet. As we only have a 3 room house we don't have alot of room for him to run. So the swing is a great alternative. He was obsessed with slides when he was little and the swing was another obsession. We could put him in a baby swing on the swing set outside and know where he was and not have to deal with him running away all the time. He has had that obsession since he was little. He would run into neighbor's yards across the street or even down the street to get to a swingset or slide. So the sling swing solves several issues for him.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylenstevesmom
    Rhonda, as you know my 2 boys have Asperger's... so I can relate.The swing sounds awesome, and Zach looks like he enjoys it and is making good use out of it.
    I think Kyle would have gotten some use out of something like that... but when he was that age he was undiagnosised and seriously misunderstood.
    One thing you can tell Zach is that he gets to swing on his swing even when it's snowing outside and everyone else has to wait until it gets nice out!!!

    Theresa
    How old are your boys now? I still have some issues of him throwing himself on the ground in a temper and I can't move him physically. Sara uses stern voice and telling him to get up but he doesn't always listen to me. One time he did this to me in the middle of the street and scared me because I couldn't get him to move. He is almost as tall as me now and I do worry abit if he is too big to handle and he won't listen to me.

    I do use time out and he hates that as he has to sit on my bed with Papa in his wheelchair right beside him. Papa takes no guff so he doesn't get away with the temper tantrums for long.
    I also use 123 as does Sara and it works most of the time.

    We both -Sara and I- think about what his teen years will be like. He will be 10 in Jan and that sounds so grown up!! LOL

  15. #15
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhonda
    Quote Originally Posted by kay carlson
    In 2000 I was hired to care for autistic children in a group home. We did hands on activities and provided care 24/7.

    I am so thankful that you brought up this thread and even more thankful that you have the swing for your DGS. I can just hear the delight and laughter in my memory bank from being with these children. Bless you.....
    The one thing about these kids or at least Zach is there is no mean bone in his body!! LOL He has however learned a few retaliation moves from his brother and sister but he would never sit and think how can I get back at him. He has learned to hit back when pushed too far which really isn't all bad.

    I love to see his ear to ear grin and his laughter is infectious. He has quite a sense of humor. When Sara asks him if he loves her he says 5 days he loves her 5 days worth! LOL so the other day I asked what happens after 5 days and he says 5 more days!! LOL Then I asked him if he loves his Grandma Rhonda and he says I already loved you!! LOL The way his mind works is so funny!!
    These kids are incredibly sweet. Others could take a lesson from them. After an episode of disruptive behavior, my DGS is heartbroken and puts his arms around my neck and just keeps saying, "I'm sorry, Nana. I'm sorry, Nana." He is a sweetheart.

  16. #16
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    What a cutie! I bet he loves the swing! A great idea!

  17. #17
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeysnana

    These kids are incredibly sweet. Others could take a lesson from them. After an episode of disruptive behavior, my DGS is heartbroken and puts his arms around my neck and just keeps saying, "I'm sorry, Nana. I'm sorry, Nana." He is a sweetheart.
    They can bring you to tears! I have seen Zach jump to say sorry to get out of trouble but when it isn't anything that was his fault and he dissolves into I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry!! and his face is so upset it just makes you want to cry for him. He is so sweet most of the time. And when the disruptive behavior happens I can usually redirect. He loves to be tickled so the tickle monster will make a visit and he can turn around with help.

    One of his and my favorite redirects is a game I started with my daughter when she was little. It is the opposite game. I say yes he has to say no I may say it several times and he has to listen and change when I change. I may say yes then change to sometimes then maybe never and he has to say always etc. He is really good at it and has created his own versions.

    I say too bad so sad when things don't go his way and he will come back with too good too happy!

  18. #18
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhonda
    Quote Originally Posted by Joeysnana

    These kids are incredibly sweet. Others could take a lesson from them. After an episode of disruptive behavior, my DGS is heartbroken and puts his arms around my neck and just keeps saying, "I'm sorry, Nana. I'm sorry, Nana." He is a sweetheart.
    They can bring you to tears! I have seen Zach jump to say sorry to get out of trouble but when it isn't anything that was his fault and he dissolves into I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry!! and his face is so upset it just makes you want to cry for him. He is so sweet most of the time. And when the disruptive behavior happens I can usually redirect. He loves to be tickled so the tickle monster will make a visit and he can turn around with help.

    One of his and my favorite redirects is a game I started with my daughter when she was little. It is the opposite game. I say yes he has to say no I may say it several times and he has to listen and change when I change. I may say yes then change to sometimes then maybe never and he has to say always etc. He is really good at it and has created his own versions.

    I say too bad so sad when things don't go his way and he will come back with too good too happy!
    Yes, redirection is the key. My GS too says he is sorry so sorry when it is really his little brother who is doing the mischief!

  19. #19
    ForestHobbit's Avatar
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    Please tell Zachary the ForestHobbit says howdy. Your DGS is a handsome boy. And he sure seems to love the swing. I didn't realize it could be so multi-functional. He is a lucky boy to have such a wonderful grandmother to look out for him.

  20. #20
    Senior Member tweetee's Avatar
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    My son has high functioning autism as well he is 8, and it sounds like him and your your young Zach are from the same groove.
    You descibe him so well, and I see alot of my son there.

    My boy is also incrediby sweet, and comes out with the funniest of things sometimes. He is a real cuddlebum with me, for some some reason cant stand it when anyone else tries to kiss him or cuddle him.

    My son is a whizz on the computer, teaches me how to do alot of things on it, and then is sooo proud of himself becasue he can teach something, he goes around telling anyone who will listen what he did. He does have the occasional meltdown, but we always use distraction to try and head it off before it gets that bad. He is in a mainstream school but also has an aide to help him to understand. His writting and spelling is not that good, but he loves to read, and is already reading novels on his own. Typing on the computer he is amazing as well.

    I love my boy to bits, and I wouldnt have him any other way. He is very special to me in so many ways, with his quirky behavior, which he amplifies when it makes me laugh. All he seems to want to do when I am around is please me and make me laugh which he strives to do. The best gift I can give him is to laugh at his jokes, or pranks (which he plays on my DH all the time)because it makes him soooo visibly happy. Material things mean nothing to him, but give him a smile and you have just given him the world.

  21. #21
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tweetee
    My son has high functioning autism as well he is 8, and it sounds like him and your your young Zach are from the same groove.
    You descibe him so well, and I see alot of my son there.

    My boy is also incrediby sweet, and comes out with the funniest of things sometimes. He is a real cuddlebum with me, for some some reason cant stand it when anyone else tries to kiss him or cuddle him.

    My son is a whizz on the computer, teaches me how to do alot of things on it, and then is sooo proud of himself becasue he can teach something, he goes around telling anyone who will listen what he did. He does have the occasional meltdown, but we always use distraction to try and head it off before it gets that bad. He is in a mainstream school but also has an aide to help him to understand. His writting and spelling is not that good, but he loves to read, and is already reading novels on his own. Typing on the computer he is amazing as well.

    I love my boy to bits, and I wouldnt have him any other way. He is very special to me in so many ways, with his quirky behavior, which he amplifies when it makes me laugh. All he seems to want to do when I am around is please me and make me laugh which he strives to do. The best gift I can give him is to laugh at his jokes, or pranks (which he plays on my DH all the time)because it makes him soooo visibly happy. Material things mean nothing to him, but give him a smile and you have just given him the world.
    You are an incredible mom! It takes a strong person to deal with all a parent with an autistic or handicapped child has to go through! I am so proud of my daughter and the way she is raising Zach. She insists he has to be held responsible for his actions now that he has learned cause and effect. He didn't have that concept til about 2 yrs ago. So any discipline just confused him. Now we can give him options but that wasn't the case for so long. When we decided he was understanding-- it was so funny the first time I lightly swatted him on the rear and sat him in time out on a chair. He looked at me in amazement and said YOU SPANKED ME!! He was just floored that I disciplined him! His face was sooo funny! It was barely a swat - but up til then I redirected only and didn't confront him with his misdeeds! LOL It took several times of my putting him in timeout and holding him there no matter how mad he got before he got it that I wasn't giving up. I have had to move the time out to our bed as it makes more of an impression on him that he isn't going to sweet talk or scream his way out of trouble! LOL It does make my heart melt tho when he goes up to hug Papa in his wheelchair and with tears streaming down his face ask him-Am I done now?? I'm sorry I'm sorry!!
    But I insist he calm himself down and listen to me as to what he got in trouble for. He has to repeat it back to me so I know he understands and hopefully remembers!! LOL

  22. #22
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    He sure is cute! The swing is a great idea!

  23. #23
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    That is a great idea. My sister got a trampoline for her son who is 14 and has Aspergers. He works off frustration on that thing all the time. He also LOVES cats. He snuggles and snuggles with them all the time. He is such a sweetheart too.

    He is obsessive about scabs and picks and picks on them constantly. Do you see that with Autism or Aspergers?

  24. #24
    reach for the stars 2's Avatar
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    That's a wonderful idea. He truly looks happy.

  25. #25
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyMarie
    That is a great idea. My sister got a trampoline for her son who is 14 and has Aspergers. He works off frustration on that thing all the time. He also LOVES cats. He snuggles and snuggles with them all the time. He is such a sweetheart too.

    He is obsessive about scabs and picks and picks on them constantly. Do you see that with Autism or Aspergers?
    Obsessions are a part of Autism. Zach's older brother is an undiagnosed case of Aspergers. He was put on med for ADHD and a couple of other things I don't remember. So when Sara tried to have him diagnosed with Aspergers they didn't see any symptoms. Of course not since he is on med to control the symptoms! He also gets obsessed about things and he has problems with social issues. He is 11.

    Zach's obsessions some of them change over time. The swing is one that has never changed.

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