Autism from a mama who has been there. I am hoping to post every day this month. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments.
Restraints: Sometimes it’s Necessary
De-escalate, redirect, mitigate; try everything you can. But when there is nothing left to try, what do you do? You can’t let your child hurt themselves or others. Restraint is an intensely controversial subject. I get that, and you may disagree with me. This is my experience. My son could get violent, and he was insanely strong even at a very young age.
I learned several forms of physical restraint using my body to protect my son from himself. And to protect others from my son. His psychologist taught me; he knew my son well, and the violence my son was capable of. There are many other places you can learn them, schools, therapists, and online.
I would sit on the floor behind my son. I wrapped my arms around his upper body and my legs around his hips and over his legs. I spoke in a soft, quiet voice, explaining what I was doing and why. As his muscles relaxed, I would begin to stroke his arms and legs as I released the pressure. When he was older, I noticed that he would do this to himself, using heavy blankets or small spaces to calm and soothe, to help center himself in space, and to cut out stimuli.
I pray you never have to restrain your child, but if it is necessary, I hope you know how to do it safely.
Celebrate the small stuff. Be flexible. Laugh.