We moved to Alabama a month ago, feeling it in our childrens best interest. That they would be happier & safer.
One of our children has severe autism. He is completely Non verbal & He is a danger to himself. He does not understand nor cannot, what death or danger is.
To protect him, we use double keyed (double cylinder) locks on all 3 doors. We have used them his whole life. But now that we have
moved here we were told it is against fire code to have them and the landlord says we must remove them.
Like most autistic children, he is a runner. If he can get out of the house, he will. Not just every once in a while but over & over. he has in the past. He has a map in his head (perfect memory
for directions) & does not understand money or comprehend distance. So if he decided he wanted to go to his favorite store for
paper and pens or restaurant for a burger or ice cream, he would. He loves water & cannot swim, & there are lots of bodies of water
around us. He would jump right in, not knowing that he would drown. It is in the newspapers all the time, autistic children wandering off & drowning. He cannot go outside alone. ever. even for a minute.
He also does not understand cars can kill you, and semi's go up & down our street all day long. on top of it, we were mislead that there was no
water close by when moving and light traffic, then after moving found out that they are building a 4 lane highway down the street in 6 months!
If he gets out, he will be run over or drown. Either way, taking off those locks are a death sentence. They are the only thing other than constant vigilance that protect him. He knows how to work chain locks etc & has for many years.
A fire might happen. and if it does, we might die. but if we remove these locks, our son will die. there is no question. most likely in a matter
of days or weeks. We watch him closely but we do have 5 other kids to care for. Bathroom trips, food to prepare, etc. With my, his mothers health I cannot chase him down either. I have tried & cannot catch him.
Only his father can. Which also means if we lose these locks, his father cannot work, he will have to be here at all times to chase our son down.
We cannot survive without him earning an income. & our other kids would get very little to no attention or time with us, which as any parent of a
special needs child knows, the time is scarce enough as is. We are trying to give our kids a more normal life and they are going to make it even
more abnormal than it already is.
We NEED this protection. If we remove them, he will be running out the door every two seconds. I am not exaggerating. Also when he does run, we will have the cops & Cps/Dhs at our house every single time, pointing the finger, blaming us. Trying to take him & the other kids away. If he does die, we will not only lose our child but be held responsible. All this even tho it is not our fault they make us remove the locks. All for INSURANCE REASONS over FIRE CODE.
We both have a set of keys, as does our teenage son. We have smoke alarms. We practice safety. We know our fire routes. We have windows.
we unplug everything at night. Im a light sleeper.
Our son is in much worse danger without the locks than with them. we have to protect him. Please help us to convince the powers that be that
disability rights/laws should trump fire code in this case. thank you.