By Holly Mero-Bench, Director, Vivint Gives Back at Vivint Smart Home
Good parents worry about their children’s safety. It’s part of what makes us good parents.
For most, this centers on keeping toddlers away from medicine, sharp objects, electrical outlets and other physical dangers in the home. As children grow, parents can usually start worrying less about these things and focus on their children’s social and economic welfare.
But not you.
As a parent of a child with autism, you likewise grow concerned about your child’s social and economic welfare as he or she ages, but you most likely don’t have the luxury of worrying any less about the physical dangers your child faces at home.
Regardless of your child’s age, you still sleep with one eye open for fear that they may slip out of bed and find a kitchen knife at 2 a.m.
You still leap to your feet with every creek of the floor, worried that your child is wandering out the front door.
You still can’t leave your child alone to go upstairs for five minutes without worrying that they may hurt themselves.
It’s because of you, and all parents like you, that we’re passionate about designing smart home technology that not only makes everyone’s life more convenient, but that gives you, the parent of an autistic child, the peace of mind you deserve.
My intent is not to promote Vivint Smart Home products. Rather, my intent is to share with you, in broad terms, how smart home technology might make a difference in your life.
Why? Because we care.
Smart Home Technology and Autism
Here are several ways smart home technology can help:
Keep track of your child - You can always know where your child is with strategically placed interior smart door sensors that notify you on your mobile device when they open a door.
Get enough rest and still keep an eye on your child- With an indoor camera in a bedroom, you can keep an eye on your child even at night by watching live video on your mobile device. This is especially helpful for a child who also suffers from seizures or other medical conditions. Camera footage of a seizure can also be a great tool for medical professionals to determine treatment and medications.
Protect your child from potential household hazards- You can protect and monitor your child by placing smart sensors on anything that opens and closes, like knife drawers, medicine cabinets or closets where you store cleaning supplies.
Monitor in-home therapy session and tutors - If your child receives in-home therapy, a camera is a great way to monitor activity during sessions. By observing sessions via camera, you can also learn from therapists without distracting your child or disrupting the session.
Learn how to better support your child - Viewing camera footage also provides a clear picture of how your child is progressing. While a child may be performing well during treatment, those behaviors don’t always stick. Being able to see what your child is accomplishing in session is empowering and informs your own interactions with your child. You can make requests and reinforce what your child is learning in therapy knowing what they’re capable of.
Manage the people coming and going- With in-home treatment therapists, tutors and caregivers coming in and out of your home throughout the day, smart locks make it easy for them to enter and leave, while still keeping your house safe and secure.
Preempt water disasters- If your child loves water, smart flood sensors can come in handy. It’s not uncommon for children with autism to turn on faucets and leave the water running. If they happen to plug the tub or sink, flood sensors in the bathroom or kitchen will notify you of the presence of water before damage occurs.
Prevent wandering - If your child wanders, smart window and exterior door sensors might be the most crucial smart home components you can install. It can take mere seconds for your child to disappear. With smart sensors, your wanderer will trigger an alarm and mobile device notification when they try to exit your home. Paired with an outdoor camera on your home, you can even know which direction they headed should they make it out before you get to them.
Safety and Peace of Mind
Whether you choose Vivint or another smart home service provider, I hope you’ll take advantage of smart home technology to help you increase the safety of your home for your child with autism and gain peace of mind for yourself.
Click here to learn about how you might qualify for a discount on smart home technology.