My father-in-law calls our home fortknox. With good reason. It is not to keep something out but to keep something (and someone) in.
Jacques has no concept of danger, none. Therefor we have to keep the doors that lead to the outside locked at all times. But not only that, we need to keep the keys out of his reach as well, because he can unlock doors and gates.
The problem with this is that he can reach further than I can (the kid is 10cm taller than I am). So, either I keep the keys on me at all times (there is a lot of keys - as you will learn in a bit), or I find creative places to hide the keys. Jacques is an expert at hide and go seek - keys style.
Now, like mentioned above, unfortunately it is not only the keys to the doors that lead outside we need to hide. All the rooms in the front part of our house has keys, and these rooms stay locked at all times, all rooms except for the "safe room" (a little more on that room later). We also have a security gate that keep people (i.e Jacques) out of the kitchen. Why would we do that? To keep our grocery bill to an affordable budget. If Jacques were to have free reign in the kitchen we would need to rob a bank - monthly.
There is another gate that leads to the dining room/games room/storage room/washing room/room to keep everything away from Jacques room - this is only one room, a big room, where we keep everything valuable. It is the no Jacques allowed room. Our cats love this room - why? - no Jacques. Jacques and the cats have a love hate relationship. Jacques loves to terrorize them and they just hate Jacques.
All the windows in our house has welded mesh in front of it. This was done in an effort to keep Jacques from throwing stuff out the windows. It has helped a bit, but the kid is nothing if not persistent. He found ways to push stuff through the gaps we had to leave to be able to open the windows. Luckily the stuff he throws out now are a lot smaller than the items he would throw out before.
My awesome hubby built us a big tv cabinet, a Jacques proof tv cabinet. Our flatscreen TV was mounted to the wall. Jacques found this to be the perfect target to practice his throwing ability. The TV did not survive. That's when the cabinet idea was born. Hubby bolted this cabinet to the wall and a friend of ours made us an almost bulletproof glass to put in the cabinet. This TV cabinet is awesome! Jacques has exercised his target practice on the cabinet. So far it's cabinet-5, Jacques-0. Yay TV cabinet!
The "safe room" mentioned before has been a life saver. When Jacques is having a meltdown (because of the autism) we can lock him in this room and know he cannot hurt himself or anyone else. He can also not break anything. It gives him time to calm down in a safe space. We took everything out of this room and left only the two beds. Usually, he will tantrum and hit the door for about 5 minutes, then start to calm down and lie down on his bed. I enter when he has been calm for about 5 minutes and give him a big kiss and hug. Usually he feels so bad about his actions that he cries for a little bit, says "skiesie" (sorry) and is then fine again.
This is just a small glimpse into our home to give our followers an idea of the measures we had to take to keep Jacques and ourselves safe.
The keys we have to hide from Jacques
The gate in front of the dining room/games room/storage room/washing room/room to keep everything away from Jacques room
The games/tv section
The washing section
One of the terrorized cats - Snowy
The welded mesh in front of the windows, and one broken window that still needs to be replaced. Jacques was not happy his aunt Alta was leaving for the day.
Our awesome TV cabinet
Empty part of the lounge area
The doors that stay locked
The safe room
Another view of the safe room
The gate that keep Jacques from the kitchen