Originally Posted by saving_grace
I have an autistic/mentally challenged teen dss (dh has primary custody so he is with us all the time). We have to pad lock the fridge and pantry. We have to lock my son's playroom and bedroom when he is gone to his dad's every other weekend because dss is sneaky (we joke he was a ninja in a previous life) and will make a huge mess or break toys if we turn our backs for a minute. He'll gorge himself on food/drinks as well if we do not keep them locked up. We don't lock him up obviously but we have to practically lock everything else up. So I can see the need for the pad locks in a situation with multiple special needs kids or just one very unruly one. We are fortunate that dss stays in his room at night for the most part and does not roam about the house. If he did, I'm not sure what our alternatives would be seeing how this would be completely unsafe since he could walk out the door. I'm glad we don't have this problem but I can see a desperate parent of a special needs child locking them in their room at night to ensure their safety. Heck, I've heard of parents of normal toddlers doing the same. I don't agree with it but it does seem to be a mainstream idea that many parents are OK with. Glad you called the police though so they can get to the bottom of it. *Call the police back and ask what they found out.*
We do the same, locking everything that my step son can get into. He has chocked at night without us knowing from sneaking out, and we did have pad locks on doors so he couldn't sneak outside in the middle of the night, along with door alarms etc. ALL those things though, in my home are things I would have NO problem explaining to CPS if someone felt the need to call. (now we only lock up the food). My house also isn't a disgusting, filthy mess, well other then maybe the kids bedrooms, but those are things you can tell it is kids taking out all their toys vs. we are slobs and it is a health risk kwim?
My oldest son locks his bedroom door if he is gone and we have a key lock for it, to keep my step son out, but if that didn't work, I would use a pad lock too, but again, better to call and be safe, then sorry.
I also think you can get a feel for the family. Coming into my house you would know we aren't locking our kids ina closet or in their rooms as punishment, and really, I would probably mention "oh we have the locks on the doors because one of oru kids has a hard time minding his own business, BUT we will have the holes filled before we move. With a big smile on my face.