Blog #142~Elopement and Autism
Have you ever lost your child? It’s the worst feeling ever. April is Autism Awareness Month, it is essential to put supports in place to prevent your child from wandering off.
My son Nick is 22 years old and has Down syndrome and autism. There have been a few times where he has taken off. Since then, I have put supports in place and done some research on more precautions to take. I found an excellent website called AWAARE which stands for Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response Education: www.awaare.org. This site has a comprehensive list of tips, materials and tools. Take action now to protect your child…….
Secure your home
Install secure deadbolts, home security systems, install inexpensive battery operated alarms on door and window to alert when opened. Place hook and eye locks on all doors above your child’s reach. Fence in the yard and put visuals like stop signs to doors.
Consider an ID Bracelet
Teach your child to swim
A large percentage of the headlines for wandering and autism end tragically because of drowning deaths. Check your local YMCA or special recreation association for swim lessons.
Alert your neighbors
Make a simple handout with your name, address, phone number, information about your child (autism, non-verbal etc….) and include a photograph of your child. Ask them to call you immediately if they see your child outside of your home.
Alert First Responders
Provide the local police and fire stations with key information before an incident occurs. See the AWAARE website given above for printable handouts. There is also a free Big Red Safety Toolkit with free downloads on wandering and prevention.
Consider A Monitoring App
*iPhone Baby Monitor App
*Kids ID App
Consider a GPS Locater Tracking Device:
Project Lifesaver (https://www.projectlivesaver.ort)
Lo Jack Safety Net (https://www.safetynetbylojack.com)
These locaters range from $125.00-$250.00; monthly monitoring fees vary:
*Angel Sense GPS Device (https://www.angelsense.com)
*Amber Alert GPS (https://www.amberalertgps.com)
*Trax Personal GPS Tracker (https://www.traxfamily.com)
Being prepared and proactive is vital for a child who is an eloper and may bolt at anytime. It will also help you as a parent to feel more confident in the safety of your child. That’s what is in my noggin this week!
@Down Syndrome With A Slice Of Autism