Posted by: Sandi | February 3, 2009

CdLS Blog Challenge – Home Modifications/Child Proofing

What kind of jerry-rigging or child-proofing have you done at home to meet the needs of your child with CdLS? This could be a serious or comical post.

Oh my gosh, what haven’t we done?!!  Our house has been “Jessica-proofed” several times over as the areas of concern change.  As she’s gotten older, it has been easier in a lot of regards.

– we have no lamps.  She broke every one we had, then we finally wised up!

– no knick-knacks or breakables.  She used to swipe off everything when she was younger, now she likes to throw things.

– scissors and other sharp objects, pens/markers/pencils are kept well hidden.

– soap, lotion, shampoo kept out of reach (she likes to eat them, ugh!).  Anything liquid is kept out of reach so she doesn’t a) ingest it, b) pour it all over the furniture.  She once got into her sister’s nail polish (bright orange of course!) and painted our TV cabinet.

– no mini-blinds on her window (she used to break them into tiny pieces).  no curtains on her window (she’d tear them down).  All we have in her room is her bed and her toys.  We put the dresser inside her closet, otherwise she would tip it over.   For safety, we turned her doorknob around so we can lock it from the outside when she goes to bed…too dangerous for her to get up and wander the house (or out of it) at night.

– Electrical outlets in her room are covered.  However we were able to uncover them in the rest of the house as she now knows how to safely plug and unplug things, and never bothers them otherwise.

– We have to limit access to our bedrooms, office, pantry, etc.  For years doorknob covers worked, but now she can open them.  So we are saving up to purchase keypad locks.  Right now we have to lock the doors from the inside and use keys to pop the locks.

– We used to have gates all over the house.  They don’t work anymore since she knows how to open them.

– Strangely, she has never bothered our lower kitchen cabinets or drawers so we’ve never had to lock them.  But now she is tall enough to reach the upper cabinets and DOES get into them so I had to clear some of the lowest shelves, and push things way back on others.

– We base decisions on toys or other items we purchase for her on what we refer to as “impact effect” –in other words, how bad it will hurt when she wings it at us! 😉

I’m sure there is more, but I just can’t think of it right now…you get used to it and kind of forget!



  1. whew!!!!!!! that is a lot, but so much helpful info for me for the future!

  2. Sounds like Joey and Jessica like to do a lot of the same things ~ although we haven’t had any shampoo incidents ~ yet! And I agree with the impact effect when purchasing toys. Joey got one of those Fisher Price “Kid Tough” DVD players for Christmas but it is proving to be not very “Joey Proof”! Thanks for sharing!

  3. There seems to be a theme with the no lamps rule. I’m glad that they are coming out with the keypad locks, that should help a lot I think.

    Thanks so much for participating. I was thinking this would be a good challenge for the parents of older children.

    Have a great night!

  4. whew! I agree with Misty, this blog challenge has been helpful but overwhelming, thinking about the future.

    In that vein, can I ask a question? I’m sure you’ve heard lots of insensitive, useless comments from ignorant people about “Can’t you just tell her not to do that?” or other such “discipline” suggestions … to which I’m sure you respond with a bright and cheery “Gee, I hadn’t thought of that! Thanks so much!” 🙂

    But can I ask about the extent to which you are able to teach her about things being off limits? What has worked?

    Thanks for letting me pick your brain! You guys have been INVALUABLE to a new CdLS mom!

  5. Hi Becky! Feel free to pick my brain all you want…well, err, that didn’t sound right did it? But you know what I mean 🙂

    When Jess was younger consequences didn’t really have meaning to her and there didn’t seem to be anything we could find that motivated her to behave. As hard as we tried to set limits, it didn’t have much effect. And on top of that I truly believe SOME of her behavior is impulsive/compulsive and she has little control over that.

    Now I have to mention, Jess also has a diagnosis of a mood disorder (non specified – however possibly early onset bi-polar) which also affects her behavior and how we deal with it.

    As she has gotten older (and now is on medication that is working) she has activities that she loves and items/books, etc that she cares greatly about so now we have motivators!! We are working on a behavior plan that includes redirection, keeping ourselves very calm and giving very little input/attention when dealing with a behavior (since 90% of her behavior is a way to get attention -good or bad!), praise and positive attention when she does behave, and consequences for her behavior (time out, losing a favorite item or activity), and just lots and lots of repetition and consistency.

    We’re also finding she does best on a very consistent schedule, so I’m working on setting up a picture schedule (like they have at school) to use at home.

  6. Thanks Sandi! It all sounds so familiar, but now I have a glimpse of what’s to come. Fortunately Andrew is still pretty short, but he’s reach is growing.

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