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  1. #1
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    Question Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Hello everyone I am trying to decide on a new carseat for my son. Tayton will be 8 this summer, he is 44 inches tall, appx 50 pounds. Because of his Autism he doesn't understand when we tell him he has to stay seated correctly so we are wanting to go back to a 5 point harness rather than the booster he's currently in. Somehow he is maneuvering his head so that he will have the seatbelt behind him, while still buckled. It must be difficult for him because he's got hickey like marks on his neck and armpits from trying so hard! I thought I had decided on the Britax Frontier but then found the Britax Traveller Plus. Other than the weight difference (80 vs 105) and the fact that the Frontier will turn into a booster, can anyone tell me any opinions for one over the other, or suggest another possibility? Thank you!

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy 4boysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Have you seen the frontier in person? I say that because even though it has been tested with a 80 pound weight I'd say it's harness height will probably get your son closer to 60 or 65 pounds before it is outgrown. I say this because the graco nautilus which is weight rated to 65 pounds has a tad *higher* harness height and my son outgrew it at the max statistics (65 pounds and right at/above those top slots and he is more on the hefty then scrawny side so his torso is short(er) compared to his weight than 'average'). There is even a slight chance that your son won't even fit in the frontier now. It does however make a better/taller booster than the nautilus. The Britax REGENT is harnessed to 80 pounds and is a similar comparision to the traveler you are talking about. I am not sure how heights compare to those, if they are the same only weight rated differently or if the traveler has extra height slots. If I were you I would be looking between the traveler and Regent I think. The frontier and nautilus I don't think would give you much time in harness mode and it sounds like your son won't nessasrily be booster ready in the very near future.

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member mommaon112903's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Tayton is such a pretty name

    The Britax Regent is the tallest harnessing car seat out there, minus ordering a special needs seat which can get rather costly I know some have been able to get a seat covered by insurance, but this is a long process and well, you know insurance companies Britax has decided to d/c the Regent, as it is "over-kill" for *most* children, and we our Regent!

    Josef has a very long torso and at almost 5 1/2yrs he is using the last slot. Many children will get to age nine or even longer in the Regent...which hopefully at that time your son will be able to sit properly in a booster.
    Crystal, SAHM to J age 8yrs11months/49.25"/55lbs/Blue Opal Recaro ProBoosterand Orange OSPKWY

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    Question Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    I haven't seen any Britax in person. I have recently joined every carseat forum I can to try and learn more as quickly as possible as this needs to be decided relatively quickly before he figures out how to completely escape! Actually I don't know that he is trying to esacape because he does like to ride, I think he just doesn't like the seatbelt in his way. Originally I was going to buy one of those things that keep the seatbelt positioned correctly but read enough on the boards to realize he just needs to be harnessed. The specs for the Regent slot heights are 12/14.4/16.75/19.1 The Traveller are 12/14.25/16.5/ 18.75. So should I sit him down, measure him and see where he would be now and then try and guess how long till he's at the highest one? There's so much more to this than I ever would have thought!

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy 4boysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    I would definately get the Regent then. My oldest (7.5 and 65ish pounds) has one and is on the next to top slot.

    For a rough estimate of your kiddos torso height you can try and get him to sit against a wall and mark the point where his shoulders are and then measure. If you want you can then post that info. and some more experienced people can give you a rough idea of when they guess he might have left in the Regent.

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member Evolily's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    You know, I am thinking you may need to look at what your insurance will cover/what you can afford, and look into the Roosevelt if at all possible. Top slots are 22".

    http://eztether.com/
    Formerly known as CelticLabyrinth
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  8. #7
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticLabyrinth View Post
    You know, I am thinking you may need to look at what your insurance will cover/what you can afford, and look into the Roosevelt if at all possible. Top slots are 22".

    http://eztether.com/
    I looked at that actually! And I've spoken to our insurance and she said she hasn't ever had a carseat approved (or even requested) for a child with autism. She said I would need to have his ped put in a referral for it, but that once she got that she isn't even sure what she would put it under because he has no physical need for it. I guess she's saying that he doesn't need a 5 point because of his autism, he needs it because of the behaviors related to the autism? I don't know. And the normal process can take forever with insurance and when it comes to a carseat, even though he's been "fine" so far, I'd rather not wait unless I absolutely have to. As far as what we can afford, the Traveller Plus at about $600 will be the highest.

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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by 4boysmom View Post
    I would definately get the Regent then. My oldest (7.5 and 65ish pounds) has one and is on the next to top slot.

    For a rough estimate of your kiddos torso height you can try and get him to sit against a wall and mark the point where his shoulders are and then measure. If you want you can then post that info. and some more experienced people can give you a rough idea of when they guess he might have left in the Regent.
    WOW what a process that was lol! But I did it and his torso height is 16.5 From the Regent and Traveller measurements that means he would be on the next to top slot.

  10. #9
    Senior Community Member Evolily's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    With that torso height I'd probably get the Regent for now . Hopefully that will last him for a while. I am thinking that getting a car seat would depend on your insurance, etc. An EZ-On harness might be another option down the road if he continues to need a harness.
    Formerly known as CelticLabyrinth
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    I am now inquiring about a booster seat for my 10 year old on another thread. I mentioned that I was thinking about the Traveller for my son on this thread. Someone made a good point and wanted to ask everyone here. If the top slot height on the Regent is 19.1 and the Traveller 18.75 wouldn't it stand to reason that he will max out the height on both of them about the same time so even though the Traveller has a higher weight capacity, he'd be out of the harness and it wouldn't matter that he can still be in it for his weight?

  12. #11
    Moderator - CPS Technician BookMama's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by honda_mom2006 View Post
    As far as what we can afford, the Traveller Plus at about $600 will be the highest.
    You might want to contact Merritt (maker of the Roosevelt) anyway just to see. I've heard that they're willing to work with parents whose insurance doesn't cover the seat, to help make it more affordable.
    Andrea, CPST, Tech proxy, special Needs trained
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    Plus a plethora of "spare" seats for everyone.

  13. #12
    Senior Community Member Evolily's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Your son will probably outgrow both seats by height- the regent has an 80# weight limit, but will probably be outgrown around 70#'s. Same with the Traveler Plus. It's highly doubtful that you would get anywhere near 115# unless the child was overweight.
    Formerly known as CelticLabyrinth
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  14. #13
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    OK I went to Target today and actually measured 3 different seats to see which had the highest top slot. I brought home the regent and a graco nautulis. in the regent his shoulders are even with the top slot. with the graco he is about an inch and a half until he is even with it. the graco also can become a high back booster and a backless one. I'm thinking that with the side head thingys on the graco he won't be able to pull his "slip under the seatbelt" trick. I took pics of him in both seats for some feedback but it seems to me the graco is better for him. (don't mind the flowers lol i didn't pay attn to which i picked up)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #14
    Carseat Crazy 4boysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by honda_mom2006 View Post
    OK I went to Target today and actually measured 3 different seats to see which had the highest top slot. I brought home the regent and a graco nautulis. in the regent his shoulders are even with the top slot. with the graco he is about an inch and a half until he is even with it. the graco also can become a high back booster and a backless one. I'm thinking that with the side head thingys on the graco he won't be able to pull his "slip under the seatbelt" trick. I took pics of him in both seats for some feedback but it seems to me the graco is better for him. (don't mind the flowers lol i didn't pay attn to which i picked up)

    That is not a Regent it is a Marathon The Regent is not sold at Target as far as I know. I was confused for a minute how he could be over the slots of the "Regent" and still have room in the nauti. Lemme get you a link to a regent and marathon "side by side".

    Here is the Regent: http://www.britaxusa.com/car-seats/regent/ notice how it is kind of like a captains chair all by itself It does not have a base.

    Here is the Marathon you have your son in (at least in the pictures): http://www.britaxusa.com/car-seats/marathon/ It has a base and is more bowl shaped.

    If you are looking for a Regent to look at in person first you will likely have to go to a more "boutiquey" type store. I know Babies R US used to carry it but I am not sure they do any more. Besides that I am not sure what chain stores carry it but again ones that cater to higher end purchases (so not WalMart or Sears).

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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by 4boysmom View Post
    That is not a Regent it is a Marathon The Regent is not sold at Target as far as I know. I was confused for a minute how he could be over the slots of the "Regent" and still have room in the nauti. Lemme get you a link to a regent and marathon "side by side".
    You are 100% right I got the wrong one! I guess with all the names of seats floating in my head I saw that Target had a britax and didn't pay attn. I would rather have the regent so I am going to call the fancy consignment stores and see if they have one I can sit him in. Anyone know the top harness slot in the nautilus vs the regent? i couldn't find it in the paperwork (nauti)

  17. #16
    Senior Community Member mommaon112903's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    The Regent top slots are 19-20" dependening on who is measuring The GN is around 18" You will get another year or more harnessing in the Regent over the GN.

    Quote Originally Posted by honda_mom2006 View Post
    Anyone know the top harness slot in the nautilus vs the regent? i couldn't find it in the paperwork (nauti)
    Crystal, SAHM to J age 8yrs11months/49.25"/55lbs/Blue Opal Recaro ProBoosterand Orange OSPKWY

  18. #17
    CPS Technician capeKO71's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    The regent is HUGE compared to the marathon... He will end up having a lot of room in the Regent.

    I *think* in some of those special needs seats, they actually allow for growth over the top slot - and hence the reason for the higher weight. Maybe no in that specific model... but I'm sure there are some tech's here with special needs training.

    Have you thought of a vest?

    http://www.allegromedical.com/childr...t-p215123.html

    It might be the cheapest option out there for him. And it would be very portable unlike the Regent.
    Kate - Mom to 2 boys! - CPST

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  19. #18
    CPS Technician aunt83me02's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Allegro's prices were a bit pricey, $161 for the Apex? You're going to need something for the long term. I'm in the middle of battling insurance and medicaid to get a Roosevelt for my 10 year old nephew with brain damage. He has no tone issues but cannot developmentally sit in a booster seat. He's right at the end of the Regent (a tiny bit of slot above his shoulder) and is right at 80lbs. I wouldn't recommend the RideSafer as it doesn't fit every kid. The larger size goes to 80lbs but I couldn't get it to fit right when my nephew weighed 60lbs (long torso plus diaper were the cause). A a more portable option would be an EZ vest/harness but you will eventually need a special heavy duty tether anchor (check your vehicle's anchor limits--you might need one now). I have an EZ-On harness but I'm VERY frustrated because I have called and emailed the company multiple times and have gotten no reply. I have talked to Shayne Merritt and he has said that if a family can't get Medicaid/insurance funding he will work with them to get it at a wholesale price.
    Marie
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  20. #19
    CPST/Firefighter Judi's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for carseat for autistic 7 year old

    Left to right Roosevelt, Frontier, Regent.



    I assume he has some special care. OT, PT. Check with the hospital about getting the Roosevelt. They usually have money set aside for therapy. I watch a 10 year old autistic boy and that is how he got his Roosevelt for free. Remember that the harness needs to be at or above, so give him room to grow.

    I also have some pics here and here.

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