Website: Children's Harnesses by Elaine, Inc.
and my other blogs about weight loss: Weight Loss Made Simple
and parenting my 2 boys: My Boys Can...

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Waist Belt Tether to Autism Service Dog

New to are two Waist Belt Tether Systems that you can use to tether your child to their autism service dog. Tethering is used when the child is unable or unwilling to always hold the lead to the dog during their outings and when the dog has been trained as an anchor for the child. The parent/caregiver holds the lead to the dog when the child is tethered.

regular waist belt tether system
The Regular Waist Belt Tether ($24) is an adjustable belt with a 3 1/2 foot tether to the dog.

The length of the tether allows your child to walk on either side OR DIRECTLY BEHIND their service dog. Adjust the waist belt loosely on your child. The tether loops over the waist belt and can slide around the belt as the child moves around the dog. 

The Weighted Waist Belt Tether ($27) has a metal O-ring that hangs from the child's waist belt. The metal ring serves a number of purposes; 
dark denim weighted tether

  • the weight of the ring gives your child a physical sense of wearing the belt
  • the weight helps your child orient themselves to the dog, even when the tether is not under tension. For example, if the child always walks with the dog on their right, position the metal O-ring on the child's right side to give them a sense of 'sameness' each time they are tethered to their dog.
  • any comfort toy that your child routinely takes on their outings can be clipped to the metal O-ring on their belt
As with the Regular Waist Belt Tether, the Weighted Waist Belt Tether System has a 3 1/2 foot tether to the dog that allows your child to freely move around their companion. Your child will know their dog is always 'in the same place' as the O-ring on their belt.

Each Waist Belt Tether System comes with a black stuff sack for easy transport and to keep the belt contained when in the washing machine.

Available in black, dark denim blue, red, purple and pink. 


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Removable lead attached to a backpack

Temporary lead on his backpack will keep us together in the crowds
This weekend I'm taking my 8 yr old to The Royal Winter Fair. Last year I took the older one and gosh was it crowded on the Saturday! I'm expecting the same this year so in preparation I made this lead that I've put around the handle at the top of his backpack. It's a slip-knot attachment so it's easy to remove when we get home. It's about 4 feet long so enough for us to walk comfortably together and give him some freedom but not so long that it takes me a while to bundle up (like when we're waiting for the train on the subway platform). 

The backpack closes with a buckle across his chest. This was something that I had to add to the backpack right at the beginning of the school year. Not being the most organized of households, we were frequently sprinting down the street to the school and as they ran, they had to hold onto the shoulder straps of their backpacks so they didn't leave them behind on the sidewalk. Rather than be more organized in the mornings, I added the buckle closure to hold the shoulder straps together and give the backpack a secure fit. And no, we aren't running to school EVERY day.....

Both my boys are neurotypical and whereas the older one will stay by my side (and talk my ear off) whenever we go out together, this one is much more curious and MUCH more independent. He'd have no problem taking off to explore hither and yon if he felt like it, which is rather stressful for me because I would then have to spend all my time staring at the top of his head rather than looking at the booths and displays. Having the lead to keep us together is the difference between not going at all and having an enjoyable afternoon in the city, just me and my youngest. 

And we can still hold hands if he wants too.    

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Universal medical symbol tag ($1.75 each) for your child's clothing

The Universal Medical Symbol tag is 3/4 inch x 5 inch
Over the past few years, I have had a number of parents ask me if there was a label that could be attached to their new Child-to-Adult Harness so anyone seeing their older child in public wearing a harness would know their child had autism.

I mulled this problem over for a long time before finally coming up with the idea of a small cloth tag that could be attached to the harness, or anything else the child is wearing. I chose the American Medical Association's universal medical symbol for my tag because not all my customers have autism and I wanted something easily recognizable by everyone.  The tag measures 3/4 inch x 5 inches and is made of the same high-quality durable cloth material that I use for my labels.

The tag can be attached anywhere on the harness
The AMA's symbol on the tag lets people know that the person with the tag has a medical issue. The tag closes with velcro around, for example, the shoulder strap on the harness, a belt loop, the handle on their backpack, anything. Write what you like on the inside of the tag using a pen or black Sharpie; your cell phone number, allergies, any critical information pertaining to your child. The tag is small and discreet and not intended to record your child's entire medical history, just the essentials.

I'm selling my tags for $1.75 each. You can read more about them and order through my website ( at Universal Medical Symbol tag. Thanks for stopping by. Elaine

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Autism, Special Needs car window sign

"Child with Autism on Board, medical details OVER"
About 2 weeks ago, my sister asked me to make a sign for Mom's front door that said "No soliciting, No flyers". Many houses in her home town had these signs but she didn't see any around here. I got on the internet to find something locally and after not having any luck, I made one myself to hang on Mom's door. 

My sister's request got me thinking about signs for seniors. Then I started thinking about signs for my customers. Would they like to have a sign for their car (think "Baby on Board") that said there was a child with special needs in the vehicle? That type of sign might be helpful. I did another internet search and the only items I could find on the market were car decals for Autism Awareness. Hmmm. No signs at all that tell other drivers this car has a passenger with special needs.

Now, the most amazing thing about my business is the amazing parents and amazing children I have as customers. A quick question posted on my Facebook fan page and I had my answer - a sign for the car was a good idea. In less than a day I put pen to paper, took my draft to the sign shop and put the process in motion. As with many things in my head, the ideas continued to evolve and I decided on 2 signs; one for Autism and one for Special Needs that would hopefully appeal to my many customers who have other diagnoses.  My signs are UV protected laminate and measure 8 inches x 4 5/8 inches. They attach to the interior car window with 2 velcro adhesive circles. Each sign comes with 4 circles; use the extra for another vehicle or keep them in reserve. If your car has tinted windows, the sign can be placed on the dashboard like a wheelchair parking permit. On the back of the sign, use a permanent marker to write on the plastic laminate important information about your child. If this makes you uncomfortable, write instructions instead, for example, "See medical details in glove box", or "See info packet under driver's seat". In the event of an accident where the driver is incapacitated, police, firemen and medical personnel will be able to learn critical information about your child that you may not be in any condition to relate yourself.

I'm selling my signs for $7 each. The stamp for the envelope will set you back another $1.79 and there will be taxes applied if you're in Canada. You can read more about them (and hopefully) place your order at Autism, Special Needs Car Window Sign. Thanks for your interest, and thanks especially for your input that encouraged me to develop this exciting new and unique product. Elaine

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Hello from Elaine

My goodness, the dust was so thick on this blog that I had trouble dusting it off. I barely remember how to do a posting, it's been so long. Almost a year in fact. Where does the time go? And why the long silence from someone who is incapable of leaving a voice message less than a minute long? (windbag that I am...).

Business has been great. Most of my day is spent corresponding with customers, sending invoices and sewing up their orders. I love it. Sometimes I have a slow period, and I use that time to sew up extra Child Harnesses or chair straps to save time later. The summer can be crazy busy and the more prepared I am, the less hectic it is. Though I'm usually caught off guard and don't have enough sewn up beforehand to see me through. That's not a complaint!!

A few days ago I had a very touching email from a Mom who started her message by saying 'Elaine, I'm writing you in shock'. She'd had her daughter's Child-to-Adult Harness for a week and she was stunned by all the things she was able to do with her, all the places they were able to go, all the plans she was able to make now that she had the harness. I cried, it was so wonderful to read. 

One customer at a time, that's how I run my business. Sometimes I get stumped thinking about how to take my business 'to the next level', how to become more 'corporate' like other businesses that grow and reach more people, provide jobs and generate more income for myself so I can pay off my mortgage before I'm 80. I sit like Winnie the Pooh tapping my temple saying 'think think think' but nothing comes. Then I get an email like that one last week and I'm reminded that I'm 100% in the right place at the right time right the way I am and one customer at a time is the perfect way for me to run my business. I'm not a 'corporate' kind of girl and I'd be terrified of losing that personal touch that's so integral to me and what I do.

So, I'll sign off for now. And if I don't make it back until next year, it's because I'm taking time to talk to a Mom or a Dad or a Grandparent or a School about a customer. 

One customer at a time, one customer loved by many.