Need some help - pretty please!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2005
Need some help - pretty please!
19
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 1:23am

Hey guys! I want to thank you in advance for any guidance you're able to give. Ok, here goes. My nearly 3 year old son has been in a roundabout since he was 3 months old. He was rear facing until he hit the weight max, and he's been ff for a while now. Anyway, he's 38 pounds and 39 1/2 inches, so we have got to switch seats.

I currently have 4 car seats in my living room. The first I bought yesterday from a family friend. It's a Britax Frontier, it was manufactured in January of 2009, bought a year ago, and used in Dad's car, so it looks brand new. Of course, no accidents, etc. I bought the seat before I was able to do any research. So far, the only big complaint I see is that it's difficult to install. My dh is going to try installing it tomorrow.

The other 3 seats I happened upon today in Target. I was buying wipes, turned around and saw 3 pretty Britax boxes with even prettier clearance stickers on them. They were all for different seats, and not knowing which, if any, was going to be a better fit for my son, I bought them all, and figured I'd return them all tomorrow if necessary.

First is the Roundabout 50. It was manufactured in 2010. It was $99 on clearance. My main concern about this seat is that my son may outgrow it in 2 years. He's at the 95th percentile for weight, and at that same percentile, he'd hit 50 pounds at 5 years old. Still, it was so cheap, and we've been VERY happy with our current Roundabout, and so has he.

Next up is the Boulevard (with a 65lb max). This one was manufactured in May of 2009, which I found strange. Didn't know they'd sit on the shelf that long. This one was $154.99. I love the way this one looks, and it looks so cozy. We've been putting Michael on the side of the car, because of the latch system in our 2006 Honda CRV. I love that the Boulevard has extra protection in case of a side impact. That has always concerned me because we haven't had Michael in the middle seat all this time. The biggest concern I saw with regards to the reviews I read on this one was regarding the crotch buckle. Because it doesn't have more than one slot, it's not adjustable the way that the Roundabout 50 and the Frontier are. That might be problematic since my son is a big boy. I'd love to hear thoughts from those who have used it and have big kiddos.

Finally, there's the Marathon. It was $139.99. I think I've ruled this one out, partially because the pattern is a little girlie. I know that's not a great reason to rule a seat out, but if my son is going to be in the seat another 3 years, I don't want him to get grief for it. He's going to have to endure enough grief as it is. No point in setting the little guy up. Anyway, the better reason for ruling it out is that I really like the Boulevard better than this one for the money. It can't all be about money either, but we're pretty strapped at the moment, so it does have to factor in at some point.

Something to factor in is that my son is autistic, and will need to have a great, supportive seat that he cannot get himself out of for some time. I need to make sure that he's not in a position to unbuckle himself until he's completely aware of what the implications of doing so would be.

Ok, so Frontier vs Roundabout 50 vs Boulevard............

and one more question.....PLEASE! I saw on the side of the Boulevard something about not using the latch system once he's hit 40 pounds. Is that right? I've always used the latch system with my Roundabout, and I've been so happy with how securely fastened they are. Hopefully, I feel the same way when they're attached with a seat belt. Can I still use the tether up top with the seat belt install?

Ok, enough questions. I'd appreciate any feedback!!!!
Thanks!
Serena




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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2004
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 2:03am

I would return the 3 Britax seats that you bought today. These are all convertible car seats and he's outgrown them for the rear-facing capabilities (35lbs) so you don't need that feature. I actually don't recommend the Britax seats that often anymore since there are a lot of other car seats out there that have better features for less money.


If you want to put your DS back in a rear-facing convertible, the only option I would recommend is a Radian with a 45lb rf limit (the XTSL or SL). There are seats that go to 40lb rf, but it's not worth it for a child who is so close to 40lb already.


I think the Britax Frontier will probably be your best option for the long term. If you decide to look for a new Britax seat, check out the Frontier 85. If your DH has trouble installing the seat, I'd suggest working with a CPST before ruling out the seat.


The other two options are the Graco Nautilus and the Evenflo Maestro. One of my hesitations with the Nautilus is that it might be an easier seat to get out of. But check it out for yourself.


HTH


09-Melanie.jpg Isabelle and Marcus picture by MathMelanie


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2005
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 8:05am
wanted to point out also that you're close to the LATCH limits for Hondas. They all have a 40lb. limit so you'll have to switch to the seatbelt install soon anyway!
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2005
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 11:05am

I was worried about the latch limits.

I'm sending my husband out in a few minutes to try and install the Frontier, then the Boulevard in the car with the seat belt.

I've read comments both here and online elsewhere that the Frontier is a nightmare to install with the seatbelt, so I've got my fingers crossed that the hubby will be able to do it.

Serena




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Registered: 10-23-2005
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 11:14am

Melanie, we're not interested in returning to a rear facing position. I kept Michael rear facing as long as his seat would allow (33 pounds), but it's been over a year since he's been forward facing. We drive as much as 100 miles round trip for his therapies up to 5 days a week (he's autistic), and I've got language dvds set up in the car that he watches while we drive. That can't happen rear facing. Anyway, he's nearly 3, he's nearly 40 pounds, and I'm proud of how long we stayed RF, especially considering all of the grief I got from the rest of the family. How they could justify arguing against what was clearly in my son's best interest always fascinated me. If he hadn't gotten so big, so fast (he was 30 pounds at a year old), and had there been better extended RF options at the time, we would have stayed that way longer.

Ok, RF aside, you like the Frontier better than the other 3 Britax seats we got. I'm going to send dh out now to try and install it, and I'm going to check out the folder here on this board with the CPST information in it. I'm in the Dallas area.

Thanks for your help!

Serena




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Registered: 10-23-2005
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 11:26am
Ok, I've looked for the closest CPSTs, and I'm coming up with a fire station and a police station. Is that normal? I hate to take the time of a police officer or fire fighter.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2003
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 4:14pm
Hi I live near Dallas as well.Yes its pretty normal to have tech that work in a Fire Station or Police department. No you are not taking their time up.I would call one up near you and make an apt. Your friend that sold you the seat. Did she have install issues?I find it strange that they would sell the seat after having it only a year or so.Also my youngest son David is autistic as well. Dawn
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Registered: 10-23-2003
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 4:19pm
My son wasn't dxed with autism until he was 9. What type of therapies are you doing for your son?We only did sensory therapy. Also what are the language cds you have?My son does have a speech delay both receptive and descriptive. I am always at a loss of what to do at home to help him. Thanks Dawn
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2005
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 5:54pm

Dawn, we're in Rowlett, so about 20 miles north east of Dallas. Michael's only 2, so I'm not sure that David would appreciate the level of the dvds that we use. We're using Baby Bumblebee, and they're specifically for building up receptive language. They're pretty basic, but we thought we were dealing with a blank slate after he regressed about a year ago, and we've been happy with them. He doesn't squeal in delight when we pop them in..LOL...but they're good for him, so there you go. We also use the signing times DVDs, but I'm not sure that your son would need those. I figured that as long as he wasn't verbal (he still has no words), trying signing wouldn't hurt. I would be more than happy to loan them out to you if you'd like. Otherwise, for receptive language, we're using lots of photographs (started with the most familiar items, and now we're teaching new items), and lots of rewards.

As far as therapies go, we're taking advantage of ECI (which is what the school district provides when the kids are under 3, and not school age yet) to get speech, and an O/T for all of his sensory needs. We've also got both an in home ABA program and a in clinic ABA program. We also start back up at the UTD Callier Preverbal program at the end of August. That's for toddlers and preschoolers. Basically, he's doing anywhere from 25 - 36 hours per week of therapy, depending on whether or not Callier is in session (they work on UTD's semester system). The ABA clinic we go to is called the Brent Woodall Foundation for Exceptional Children, and the website is woodallkids.org. The founder, Tracy, is phenomenal. To be honest, I'm not sure how old the kids are that they work with. If you're interested in ABA, I'd email her from the website. It's the fastest way to get a response, and she responded to me the first time I emailed within about 5 minutes. Again, she's just awesome. They are incredibly cheap compared to other ABA clinics. $15/hr, and they'll do a consultation and write the program for free. Again, I'm not sure what ages they take in, but they're in Irving/Coppell off of Beltline, close to the 635/114/190.

I'd be interested in knowing what you're doing for sensory issues. When we lose our O/T when Michael turns three in October and ages out of ECI, we'll be at a complete loss as to what to do.

Out of curiosity, when did David start speaking?

Also, as a side note......I've got a nearly 14 year old (daughter) named Devyn. I just adore the name. It was so obscure as either a boy or girl name when I was pregnant, and seems to have picked up in popularity over the past 7 or 8 years.

Serena




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Registered: 10-23-2003
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 7:26pm

Wow we are neighbors practically. I live in Rockwall. Have you heard of Krystal with special ones network? She has planned thigs through out the year for special needs kiddos. The next event is a Christmas party in Garland at the Shiners lodge. Its really fun with lots of food and some games even a free picture with Santa. They also had a fire truck there. Its lots of fun.

My son never regressed with language.He started talking at 2. Though having a conversation with him that was impossible. I knew something was wrong with his speech but didn't know what as Dr's had told me not to worry typical boy. He was dxed with adhd at 4 and a few months latter dxed with sensory issues. He use to go to excel when he was 6-7 years old. They don't take insurance you would have to file on your own.That became expensive. There is a Baylor our House that does sensory therapy I have been told.

David does see a Psychologist every other week. David has big trouble with anger.I really don't know much about ABA other then who ever does it is so far away.I do work part time so that makes it hard. How often do you go in for it?Oh and he started speech at 6 in kindergarten the first year.

Kept blaming things on his adhd and sensory so I finally decided to have him dxed at 8 but I don't really call that a real dx as it was a 20 min visit. The school district did a much through eval and that is what I go by.

Oh and my Devin is 16 and in 10th grade.So yes the Baby bumblebee would be too young for him. Though he probably would watch it as some things he likes to play with that are baby toys.He likes to play with them at Dr's apt like the toys that make noise he will record on his Dsi. He will then play over and over.He loves repetition and will watch things over and over.Even going as far as constantly rewinding the dvr over and over.That can be annoying.

I wish he could have been dxd younger I feel he has missed out on so much therapy. It sadness me. Oh and David plays in the Special Olympics. That has been a blessing for us.Are you in the Garland isd or Rockwall isd?More then likely when your son ages out of Eci he will go to ppcd. Thanks Dawn

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Registered: 10-23-2005
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 8:21pm

We're in GISD, unfortunately. It's been a freaking nightmare, mostly because our insurance is through them, and they specifically exclude all therapies (speech, p/t, o/t) for ALL children with developmental delays. That means no speech for a non verbal child with Down Syndrome, and no physical therapy for a child with Cerebral Palsy who can't walk. It's atrocious, and it's a school district. I've been beside myself with anger for a school district I was so proud to work for for a decade. My husband still teaches with the district, and I almost forced him to leave to work for Dallas ISD again (for the insurance), but I'm thinking it would have damaged my marriage. He loves his job, and he's worked hard to earn the respect he has there. Starting all over in a terribly run district would suck.

Anyway, I have NO knowledge of ANY local resources for kids with special needs. Besides ECI, all of our services are far away (Dallas, Irving, etc).

As far as getting a diagnosis in 20 minutes, our first neurologist gave us our diagnosis before she walked in the room. The fact is that so much of what creates a diagnosis is what the parents say is going on. It really doesn't surprise me that someone could diagnose your son quickly. Heck, a year into this, and I could probably diagnose an autistic child after a brief encounter. I mean, couldn't you? LOL

I'd love to hear more about Krystal with the Special Ones network. Hey, will you find me on Facebook? My last name is O'Malley. Friend me, and we can chat. I'd love to swap stories.

Serena




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