My 24mo has ASD. For the past couple weeks whenever we put him in his highchair to eat, he refuses to get out when finished. If we remove him or even attempt to do so, he freaks out. I always try redirection and offer to do things he likes to do (like go outside, play trains) but 99% of the time that does not work. He will just sit there and do nothing but shake his head no and jiggle his legs. I give him cars, paper/crayons, puzzles etc. to try to keep him from doing absolutely nothing but he usually throws those down after a very short time. He is sitting in the chair for a rediculously long amount of time. Yesterday it took me 1.5 hours to get him to get out! I've mentioned it to his speech therapist and she said he must like the restricted feeling (he throws tantrums when the tray is removed). I've tried putting him in his booster seat at the table but he tries to throw himself off of it and I feel that it is too dangerous even if he is strapped in. Any suggestions on what I can do? I guess he needs that restricted feeling but I can't just let him sit and do nothing for so long of a time each day.
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Do some research on weighted vests. He may accept you placing one on him after he eats and then removing him from the chair. They are comforting and help a child with sensory issues to feel grounded and calm. Maybe it will replace the enclosed feeling of the chair and make the transition to other things easier.
Just a thought....