An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Our Special “Helpers” :)

David at the park in his safety harness 🙂

Today we had to go on another store run for some more groceries.  The only store within reasonable driving distance that I can afford to shop at regularly is Wal-mart.  My first thought?  Here we go again…

I was pleasantly surprised this time though. : )  David still struggled a bit and so did Joshua, but all in all, today was a pretty non-eventful trip in comparison to the usual. : )  I have to admit though, I had some “help” with making that happen this time as I just wasn’t up to chasing them around and didn’t want to have to worry so much about losing them or having to force them to stay in the basket.  My “helpers” are sometimes considered a bit unconventional by some, but for the most part I get a lot of understanding smiles and nods and a few comments along the lines of “good idea” or “I should try that with mine”.  Especially when I am employing them in a big, crowded, and overwhelming environment.

So what are these helpers of mine?  Child safety harnesses.  Not just any though.  With David’s strength and size, the simple puppy backpack harness we started off with couldn’t hold him.  And those variations that simply attach around the child’s wrist?  Unless the child is reasonably responsive to their parent’s redirection to stay with them, those are just an injured wrist accident waiting to happen.

The harnesses we use are made by a wonderful woman who discovered the same problems when trying to find a safe and durable harness for her own small yet prone to wander little one.  When she couldn’t find a suitable solution already out there, she decided to make her own.  And soon, as word got out, she ended up starting a business with her design. 🙂  You can see the version I bought for David and Joshua here. You can also visit her website and facebook to learn about all of her designs and hear testimonials from her customers.

Her harnesses are expensive, but definitely worth every penny.  Especially since they can adjust to the point of harnessing someone as small as my little Joshua all the way to safely holding a full heighted teen without having to switch anything out or buy anything new.  Good news in my book. ; )  And their strength is unmatched as far as I can find.  Some might say she goes a little overboard with her design in the area of strength, but anyone that’s seen David in action when he has lost it or is trying to get away after having been suddenly frightened, can only praise her for thinking so far past the typical situation.  I know I am definitely grateful to her for it.  There have been many times that I can honestly say David still being alive and unharmed had a lot to do with the unrelenting strength of the harness helping me hold him back until I could get a good grip on him myself in order to brace him and calm him down.

All in all, I couldn’t be more grateful for the help these harnesses offer.  They truly have been a valuable and useful tool in my bag of supplies ever since I’ve gotten them. 🙂

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