Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dutch Door

Ashley is a child that likes to explore. She is also very strong willed. If she doesn't want to do something, I am hard pressed to convince her otherwise. And staying in bed and in her room at night is just one example.

Left to her own devices, she would get up in the middle of the night, go help herself to something from the fridge, and then proceed to the family room to engage in some noisy pursuits. Since she is blind and deaf, I worry about her safety during those times.

When she was much younger, she had an enclosed bed. But once she learned to climb over the top and slide to the floor, I moved to using a baby gate at her bedroom door. That lasted maybe a year or two, and then she figured out how to unlock and escape. My latest attempt at keeping her safe in the middle of the night is a Dutch door.

Kids Bedroom with Built-In Bed traditional bedroom

Two years ago, I had a Dutch door installed in place of her regular bedroom door. When it is her bedtime, I keep the top part of the door open and close the bottom part. Doing it like that means I can still hear her if she needs me, but it also helps to keep her from wandering. I did have the lock placed on the outside of the door thinking she wouldn't figure that out and be able to unlock it herself. It took her all of 45 minutes to figure that out. So now, I have a slide lock placed at the bottom of the outside of the door. That solution has worked for two years now, but I never know when the little smarty pants will figure out how to open that.

But for now, I can sleep easily knowing she is safe in her room in the middle of the night!

I have heard that any door can be adapted to be a Dutch door, but because Ashley is such a strong little cookie, I opted for a solid wooden door. It wasn't cheap, but for two+ years of restful sleep, it was well worth the money!

Just another of those innovations we parents of children with special needs have to devise!!

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