Wandering risk higher among children with autism - AmericaNowNews.com

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Wandering risk higher among children with autism

According to a study in the Journal of Pediatrics, flight risk for children with autism is very real. The study finds almost half of children with autism will wander away from supervision and go missing. This is why experts like Tabatha Taylor urge parents to be pro-active.

Taylor is the executive director of the Odyssey Foundation, a non-profit autism resource center. She says wandering off is one of the characteristics associated with the developmental disorder.

In fact, the scenario was all too real for one family whose six-year-old son with autism ran off from his grandmother's home. "I was scared. It was scary because he doesn't speak, he can't ask for help so it's scary," said Sylvia Gonzales, the mother of the missing boy .

Luckily, Gonzales' son was found safe and reunited with his family. This family's story is exactly why Taylor encourages parents to be pro-active by having a "Family Emergency Wandering Plan".

The plan includes an emergency sheet listing the child's name, any identifying characteristics, and whether the child has a GPS transmitter. She recommends calling 9-1-1 as soon as you notice the child is missing and assembling a team of people who will jump into action right away to start looking for the child. "They can break, run so fast and it doesn't mean somebody wasn't caring for them, it does not mean that at all," said Taylor. 

Anti-wandering and GPS tracking technology is also available as a safeguard. Those range from $10.00 for lost and found temporary tattoos to $200.00 for a transmitter bracelet.  
 
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