Skip navigation

Calls to Action

Home sweet home: Protecting our son with autism in our new house

Below is a post by autism mom and Autism Response Team member J-Jaye Hurley. J-Jaye recently moved to a new home with her family and technology from Vivint, Inc. is helping keep her son Jackson, who is prone to wandering, safe from harm. 

Moving is a stressful time for any family.  Moving to a new house with your toddler, your child with autism, and your elderly dachshund after living in your old house for 8 years is beyond stressful!

While we were thrilled to be buying our dream home, the anxiety and worry of helping our 10 year old son, Jackson, transition smoothly and safely presented many challenges.  Jackson is severely affected by autism, as well as many other comorbid medical conditions.  He is completely nonverbal and does not understand danger or safety.  Keeping him safe and secure in our new home was our #1 top priority!

Our new home is larger than our previous home, including a finished basement. We wanted this new level to be his area, including room for his home ABA therapy, bathroom, bedroom and “chill out” space.  However, he isn’t able to verbally answer me if I call down the stairs to check on him.  My 3-year-old daughter can tell me where he is, but my son cannot.  He also likes to close doors so he can’t hear me most times to even physically respond to me. 

Our new house also has many new doors and windows providing dangerous ways for him to go missing into a new neighborhood that he doesn’t yet know nor does the neighborhood yet know him.  Jackson wandered away from our old home several times – we have even had to call 911 to help find him. Simply put, we needed help keeping our son safe.  

Vivint technology provides home security and smart home systems which can assist families with special needs by addressing their own unique safety concerns. For my family, we didn’t need a home security system so much to keep people OUT of our home, but to keep Jackson safely IN the home.  This started by meeting with our compassionate and kind technician, Adam, who made some terrific suggestions based off our individual needs with Jackson. 

There are many safety technology options offered by Vivint that can help families affected by autism including: a “smart” deadbolt and doorbell camera on front door, security alarm chimes and phone alerts if any doors are open, window sensors, flood sensors in the bathroom, and even outdoor cameras. Vivint can also provide security cameras within the home, which can help families safely monitor their children from separate levels. These technologies can make a huge difference for a family like mine; having the ability to see that he is happily playing downstairs and is SAFE is a life changer for us. 

Vivint also provides all inclusive home security so families can rest assured that their house is protected as well. Another great technology feature is the use of Vivint panic pendants – if Jackson were to have a medical emergency, seizure, etc., we could push these buttons to send an ambulance immediately to our house.  Wow. 

As parents of a child who is prone to elopements and wandering, our stress level lives at a 10+.  No one truly understands this unless you are raising a child like Jackson.  My husband and I make sure one of us always has eyes on him at all times – double checking all the doors and windows multiple times a day, running upstairs and down, inside and out.  Now, thanks to the technology options provided by Vivint, while we will always have to be very proactive with Jackson, some of our daily stress is reduced and our new house is transformed into a SAFER home for our family!

Thank you Vivint!

Creating a multifaceted safety plan for families affected by autism is important! For additional wandering prevention and safety resources please check out Autism Speaks resources here.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.