My 4-year-old son is fairly high-functioning on the autism spectrum and he is a climber. We have been able to mitigate or redirect most of his climbing using various lifehacks, but there remains one thing I can't figure out a way to beat and it is a huge safety problem: the computer chair. Since most of our mitigation has had to involve clever or lifehack-heavy solutions, I am posting here, rather than on a parent forum. I'm not looking for suggestions on how to control/work with/punish my kid. Every kid with Autism is different and requires unique solutions. I'm only looking for how we can secure or prevent access to the chair when nobody is sitting in it, while we are working through teaching him that it is dangerous.
- Is a solid wood L-shaped desk
- Has a hutch/cabinet on one leg of the L
- The underside of the desk has a 1/2" piece of plywood that mostly covers the back (on both sides of the L)
- Was handmade by my Dad/Grandad (I would like to modify the desk itself as little as possible).
- The chair will fit fully under the desk, where he can't climb on it.
- This thing is both massive and heavy. It is in pretty much the only location it will fit in our home (at least until after COVID virtual work/school are done). Moving it (in any way) is not really an option.
- The desk is in a room which is, for now, his play room.
- We can't move his playroom right now.
- We can't get rid of the kid (because someone is always a comedian).
- Moving the chair across the room isn't enough (we have been just removing it from the room).
- Bungee-level force would probably be enough.
- A moderately complex mechanism would also probably be enough.
- We've used dual release ratchet straps in a couple, of places, it's just not an option for the chair.
- If the chair is under the desk, he can't get on it.
- Very determined, he will stuff progressively larger toys under something heavy to "jack it up" off the ground. He has also used multiple throw pillows stacked on top of each other to climb over/on top of things (we have no throws anymore).
- Can beat entry-level childproofing, like basic cabinet locks.
- Has not figured out how to beat magnet-key locks or ratchet straps yet.
The only thing I have come up with, so far, as a potential solution would be running a bungee through an eye or hook screw on the back panel, then securing the chair in place with that. I'm trying to avoid drilling into the desk, if I don't have to, so any alternative solution/discussion is most appreciated.