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How to Respond to Autism Wandering

Autism wandering is a worry for every parent of a child with autism. Just this year, a 5-year-old boy wandered away from his elementary school and was found alone on the street by a concerned citizen. Thankfully the boy was okay, but this same scenario has played out hundreds of times, often with a very different and tragic outcome.

Nearly half of all children with autism will wander away from safe environments. More than a third of these children are considered to be nonverbal which can make tracking them down all the more difficult. Wandering might occur for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to get away from overwhelming stimuli or because something has caught their attention.

It’s very easy to lose track of a small child, no matter how careful you might be, so as soon as a child goes missing, contact the authorities. You can then ask those closest to your child to be on the lookout, check their favorite places, and report back to you if they spot your child. In addition, getting family, friends, or community members to search any nearby body of water can alleviate a bit of the immediate stress. Children with autism often show a very high attraction to water and so rivers, creeks, streams, swimming pools, and other areas containing water should always be checked first if a child goes missing to reduce the risk of drowning. The most important thing to do is remain as calm as you can and assist the police however they need you to.

A child with autism wandering away and getting hurt or worse is easily a parent’s worst fear. Adys Barracks aims to help create a safe space for children to play by helping parents put of secure fences. To find out more about how you can help parents of children with autism, contact us.

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