Monday, 15 June 2015


Adverts, everywhere. Warning parents that along with their very expensive tablet computers and mobile phones they MUST BUY the top of the line, creme de la creme, cases to keep these devices safe. They list off special features and impressively state their products are "rugged","waterproof", "shatterproof", "shockproof", "secure", "submersible up to 5.8meters", "military tested", "extensively tested", and/or hilariously "childproof". Well, what about Autismproof? What about Ginnyproof? 

Sat in the coffee shop this morning I jokingly stated that my daughter could not only be used to test the security of schools but also to test iPad cases. We have probably spent more than the cost of her iPads(yes multiple as she drowned her waterproof iPad and we had to replace it) on cases that have claimed they could out smart children. Their designers have obviously not come across a child like mine. How dare they claim extensive testing when the extent of their testing clearly has not come close to the requirements to proof against my under 10. My under 10 who has been proving time and time again, since her 6th birthday in fact, that though she has severe learning delays, autism and adhd she can render their safety proofing equipment useless within minutes. Why are companies not seeking out our modern day houdinis to ensure their products are actually worthy of their claims?

Virginia may not conform to standardized testing procedures, rendering her results often to be not consistently reaching the 0-6month old markers in most categories, but that is because if an activity does not motivate her she sees no point in it. Ginny has amazing problem solving skills. Problem solving skills very much above the average though not conventionally. 

When parents were pleased about their little ones completing puzzles for the first time I was find places to hide keys so that Ginny could not get the front door open or climb out of the window. When parents  put things up on counters to remove objects from the reach of their infants/toddlers, I was finding my 8month old in the top shelf of a book case or that my 18 month old opened the dishwasher door so that she could pull herself on to the counter and lather herself in butter to satisfy her sensory seeking needs. If my neurotypical toddler completes a puzzle I would clap, if Ginny were to complete a puzzle my jaw would drop. If my toddler who was severely hearing impaired for more than the first two years of her life says a new word I cheer, if Ginny did I'd be singing praises for prayers answered.

My expectations for my children very on their abilities, so why aren't these proofing devices catering for children of varied abilities? Why are the cases that are meant to withstand the roughest of children unable to last the placid but dedicated hands of my child? It's not just tablet cases that need to up the bar, my daughter's school purchased incredibly expensive anti climbing fencing for escape artists and one day they thought they'd see how well it would stand up to Ginny. They made sure she was safe and that if she managed to get up and over there was an adult to apprehend her. The anticlimb wall proved not to be Ginnyproof as most things are. Surely "specialist" equipment would undergo more tedious testing then the usual but still it would seem its insufficient.

If everything were actually tested to be worthy of their titles, if preventive measures were made suitable to those who need them most then buying childproofed items would actually mean that children can not get past their safety mechanisms. Child locks on car doors, for example, are in fact Ginnyproof. Ginny can not open a child locked back door though she can climb over all seats and open a front door but that is not something that woul happen while we are driving around. Though, I would not put it past her that if the motivation were there to do so. As I said earlier, Every task depends on how motivated she is. Would she leave a clipped sided Tupperware box untouched on the table top no matter how many times you asked her to open it? Yes, but if you put an iPhone in that Tupperware box she'd have it out faster than you could blink. I wanted even imagine how I myself would be able to manage something that is truly Ginnyproof but certainly there must be someone cleverer than I who can.

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