THE AWAARE COLLABORATION?
Wandering Awareness Alerts Response and Education (AWAARE)
Collaboration is a working group of six national
non-profit autism organizations whose mission is to
reduce autism-related wandering incidents and
deaths. To review our mission in full,
OF A PROBLEM IS AUTISM-RELATED WANDERING? IS THERE
AN ESTIMATE OF HOW MANY CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH
AUTISM WANDER PER YEAR?
A study published in Pediatrics showed that 49% of children with an ASD attempt to elope from a safe environment.
IíVE ALWAYS HEARD THAT AUTISM IS NOT A FATAL
CONDITION. ISNíT THAT TRUE?
a diagnosis that represents many symptoms, some of
which can lead to serious health and safety risks,
including death. In 2008, Danish researchers found
that the mortality rate among the autism population
is twice as high as the general population. In 2001,
a California research team attributed elevated death
rates in large part
to drowning. Drowning, prolonged exposure, and other
wandering-related factors remain among the top
causes of death within the autism population.
Click here to review
THERE IS A TRUE INCREASE IN WANDERING-RELATED
INCIDENTS AND DEATH WITHIN THE AUTISM POPULATION,
WHAT WOULD BE THE REASON FOR THE INCREASE?
known, but because autism has increased from 1 in
10,000 in the 1980ís to 1 in 88 today, it is fair
to say that the increase in wandering can be
attributed to the increase in autism cases.
WOULD A CHILD OR ADULT WITH AUTISM WANDER OFF?
reasons. Mainly, a person with autism will wander to
either get to something or away from
something. Like dementia, persons with autism
gravitate towards items of interest. This could be
anything from a road sign they once saw to a
neighborís pool to a merry-go-round in the park.
Other times, they may want to escape an environment
if certain sounds or other sensory input becomes
bothersome. Outdoor gatherings present an especially
large problem because it is assumed that there are
more eyes on the child or adult with autism.
However, heavy distractions coupled with an
over-stimulating setting can lead to a child or
adult wandering off without notice. School settings
are also an issue, especially those that have
un-fenced or un-gated playgrounds. A new,
unfamiliar, or unsecured environment, such as a
relativeís home, may also trigger wandering, as well
as episodes of distress, meltdowns, or times when a
child or adult with autism has certain fears or
BEING DONE TO COUNTER WANDERING INCIDENTS AND DEATHS
WITHIN THE AUTISM COMMUNITY?
alone is a great tool.
materials have been developed to
educate parents and caregivers, and efforts on a
federal level are underway to address the issue.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING INITIATIVES TO PREVENT
Conditions like Alzheimerís and dementia do receive
federal dollars to counter very similar wandering
incidents, and the hope is that autism-related
wandering initiatives may also receive federal
support. AWAARE is working to ensure that resources
become available in an effort to prevent
autism-related wandering incidents and deaths.
CAN I DO TO KEEP MY CHILD OR ADULT WITH AUTISM FROM
many preventative measures parents and caregivers
can take to keep their child from wandering.
Click here for
prevention tips, safety tips, resources and general
information. Itís VERY IMPORTANT
that any parents, caregivers, and guardians
read this information and put the proper
measures in place to prevent wandering. This
includes anyone who may be caring for a child or
adult with autism. It only takes one time for
a person with autism to wander, and the
risks associated with wandering are far too great to
be taken lightly.
My child or
adult with autism has never wandered before, and I
donít feel they ever will. Why should I be
with a known cognitive impairment may be at risk for
wandering and the first time is often the worst
time. Those with communication impairments are
especially vulnerable since they may not verbalize a
desire to go to a neighborís house or visit the pond
they saw on the way to visit a relative. Because of
these communication barriers, wandering can be very
dangerous. Some children and adults may not be able
to seek help if lost, or respond to their names when
parents to blame here? It seems Fewer children would
wander off if their parents would just watch them
autism-related wandering incidents and deaths have
occurred at schools, day camps, and day care
facilities where common supervision patterns are in
place; therefore, similar to dementia-related
wandering, autism-related wandering cannot be solved
by supervision alone. Itís important to understand
that autism elopement is a medical condition, and
that those with autism may take any opportunity to
wander towards something or away from something
whenever and however possible. Individuals prone to
wandering often are reported as being keenly aware
of when focus is shifted away from them, and will
plan wandering attempts accordingly. Itís also
important to understand that caregivers must cook,
take showers, sleep, etc., and may have other
children to tend to as well. Close adult
supervision differs from around-the-clock contact,
and itís simply unrealistic for any human being to
maintain complete focus on any one person or thing
24 hours a day. Close adult supervision is critical
and any child or adult with autism should be closely
supervised at all times. Accompanying measures
should also be in place to secure the home, and
ensure the childís safety while preventing
opportunities to wander.
pediatrician has never diagnosed him with wandering
tendencies, nor have I ever received any information
regarding autism-related wandering. Why?
Autism-related wandering is a relatively new
phenomenon. Currently, pediatricians are largely
unaware of autism-related wandering incidents and
how they can be prevented. The AWAARE Collaboration
is taking steps to help inform the medical community
about autism elopement so that proper information
may be distributed and a healthy dialogue about
wandering prevention can be established. There is
currently no diagnostic coding established for
autism wandering, but this is also something that
AWAARE is addressing.
Click here for
a printable brochure that can be
given to your childís pediatrician.
My home is
very secure and my loved one with autism never gives
any indication that he/she will wander off. Isnít
this enough, or should I be doing more?
sense of security can be very dangerous, even if
your loved one has never wandered. There have been
cases in which children thought to be lacking the
motor skills required to unlock a door suddenly
figure it out. Other times, a child who has never
shown interest in opening the fence gate suddenly
gets the urge. Wandering incidents happen when we
least expect them so itís extremely important to
always maintain close supervision and to regularly
reassess and update home security measures as
Homeownerís Association in my neighborhood prohibits
yard fences, but my child loves to play outside. How
can I keep my child from wandering off or making a
break for it with no fence in place to secure the
Associations often make exceptions in situations
where a child is endangered or at risk.
Click here for a printable brochure
to share with your associationís members, and
for stories that, while difficult to read,
illustrate the gravity of the issue. Strict
rules about fencing should never take priority over
a human life. Yard fences, locked gates and
close supervision can mean the difference in your
loved one remaining safe or unsafe. Should a person
with autism quickly flee for any given reason,
barriers such as fencing could prevent the
My loved one
knows how to unlock all the doors and the outside
gate. What other options do I have to keep him/her
very controversial issue, but many parents report
that installing locks that require a key on both
sides is the only way to prevent escapes. This
obviously is a very serious fire hazard, and should
a fire occur, it would be difficult for you and your
family to get out quickly. An
Emergency Plan should always be in
place whether itís for a wandering incident, fire,
or other emergency. For those with autism who are
very intent on wandering from the home, fences that
are not climbable are an option, along with a gate
thatís padlocked with a key-lock or combination
lock. Home Security Systems are also ideal for
alerting you when your loved one has left the
premises. Costs vary, but they are typically around
$30 per month and oftentimes will reduce home
insurance costs as well.
security system is not something we can afford. How
else can I secure my home?
Inexpensive door chimes are
sold at places like Walmart and Radio Shack. Be
aware that heavy traffic in and out of your home
could desensitize whoever is supervising your loved
one, so always have many security and alert measures
Click here for more.
My home is
like Fort Knox, but my loved one still attempts to
wander. What else can I do?
caregivers report that adhering stop signs to all
windows and doors is extremely helpful in reminding
their loved one not to leave. Because autism
presents many difficulties in communication, red
stop signs on doors, windows, and gates could
visually prompt your loved one to stay on the
premises. Nanny Cams are also used by some
caregivers as a way to monitor their loved one from
a separate room.
Service dogs are another option
parents use, as well as
social stories and
other resources. Again, these
measures should be used in combination with proven
home security measures.
CHILD WITH AUTISM HAS WANDERED OFF IN THE MIDDLE OF
THE NIGHT BEFORE. WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT THIS FROM
wandering incidents may be reduced by implementing
Increase physical activity. This advice doesnít
apply to everybody, but some experts believe that
getting physical activity during the day can help
prevent wandering at night. Even a supervised walk
around the block before dinner may be enough to
reduce nighttime agitation.
on sleeping habits. Some conditions linked with
wandering are associated with poor sleep quality.
Wandering itself could result from sleeplessness. So
do what you can to practice good sleeping habits
with your loved one. As much as you are able, get
her on a regular schedule of going to bed and waking
up. To help prevent wandering, reduce napping during
the day and cut out caffeinated drinks.
Consider if thereís an underlying cause. In many
cases, a loved oneís wandering may not have a
reason. But sometimes, caregivers come to understand
that thereís a motive behind it and figure out ways
to prevent wandering. If an individual with autism
becomes agitated and wanders at night, maybe itís
initially triggered by something simple Ė being
thirsty or hungry. Leaving a glass of water or a few
crackers by the bed could help. A child with autism
might have a fixation with certain sounds or objects
and tend to wander off to investigate them. If you
can predict what will attract his attention, you may
be able to avoid situations in which wandering is a
I should alert all my neighbors about my child and
talk to them about the wandering risk. I hate to
bring attention to our family. Should I really talk
to them about this?
critical that all trusted neighbors become familiar
with your loved one and are aware of any wandering
risks, especially for those who may appear to
be old enough to walk alone. More often than
not, itís a member of the public who has found a
missing person with autism, and your neighbors could
act as a guardian angel in emergency situations.
Click here to print out a sheet
detailing your loved oneís information, and plan a
visit with your neighbors. If your loved one is
unable to attend the visit, itís critical that your
neighbors have a recent picture. Provide a written
list to them of any fears, likes and dislikes your
one may have and always provide updated
contact information. Be especially sure that any
neighbors who have pools are aware of your situation
as pools are a common attraction for those with
Click here to provide neighbors with general
information about wandering. This
is also important in case your loved one ever
wanders into a neighborís home. Your child being
mistaken for an intruder carries significant risk,
so opening up a dialogue with your neighbors is a
key step in keeping them safe. For more information
on safety, visit
Is there a
way I can alert local first-responders about my
loved one and their tendency to wander?
Click here to print a first-responder alert form.
Fill it out and distribute it to local police,
sheriff and fire departments. If youíve moved, your
contact information has changed, or your loved oneís
appearance has changed, update the form accordingly.
Keep one form on your person (purse, wallet) and one
in a conspicuous area within the home. Make sure all
photos and physical information is up to date.
KEEP A JOURNAL OUTLINING DETAILS OF ANY WANDERING
INCIDENTS, NO MATTER WHERE IT OCCURRED (HOME,
SCHOOL, DAYCARE, RELATIVEíS HOME) AND DOCUMENT ALL
MEASURES TAKEN TO PREVENT WANDERING INCIDENTS.
loves the water and he/she does not understand
danger. What can I do to prevent the unimaginable?
many safety precautions you can take to prevent
wandering, but teaching your child to swim is
critical for their safety. Swimming lessons for
children with special needs are available at many
YMCA locations. The final
lesson should be with clothes on. NOTE: Teaching
your child how to swim DOES NOT mean your child is
safe in water. If you own a pool, fence your pool.
Use gates that self-close and self-latch higher than
your children's reach. Remove all toys or items of
interest from the pool when not in use. Neighbors
with pools should be made aware of these safety
precautions and your childís tendency to wander.
American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend
swimming classes as the primary means of drowning
prevention. Constant, careful supervision and
barriers such as pool fencing are necessary even
when children have completed swimming classes. All
families are encouraged to seek training in
swimming, lifesaving, first aid and cardiopulmonary
my home, alerted my neighbors, relatives and local
first responders, but Iím still concerned about my
loved one wandering. What else can I do?
tracking device. Check with your local law
Project Lifesaver or
LoJack SafetyNet services. These
tracking devices are worn on the wrist or ankle and
locate the individual through radio frequency.
Various GPS tracking systems are also available.
Click here for
information about different options and pricing.
Tracking devices alone should not be relied upon as
the sole source of your loved oneís security. Close
adult supervision, home security measures and other
safety precautions should always be taken and
routinely reassessed for updates when necessary.
MEMORIZE YOUR LOVED ONEíS FREQUENCY NUMBER AND
ALWAYS HAVE IT READILY AVAILABLE.
seeing GPS tracking technology as an option for my
child. Is this the same thing as Project Lifesaver?
(Global Positioning System) and Project Lifesaver
are very different. Programs such as Project
Lifesaver, CareTrak and LoJack SafetyNet, are
typically facilitated by local law enforcement and
provide at-risk individuals with tracking
transmitters that are assigned a radio frequency
number. The frequency then transmits a signal that
provides data on a person's location. GPS
technology, however, depends on satellites to
provide positioning and navigation information. The
device communicates with satellites and figures out
the distance to each and then uses this information
to deduce its own location. In order for GPS to
work, there must be a clear line of sight between
the device and the satellites.
How do I
know if my local Sheriffís office offers Project
Lifesaver wristbands to at-risk individuals?
call and ask, even if you doubt your county has the
program. Thereís always a chance it may be
available, and if it is, be prepared to show
documentation of your childís diagnosis and past
Sheriff has Project Lifesaver, how much would it
cost me to enroll my child or loved one?
average, Project Lifesaver wristbands are a one-time
cost of $300. Other nominal fees may apply to offset
the cost of batteries and wristband replacements.
Sometimes counties have funding in place to help
cover the $300, but be prepared to budget that
amount just in case.
like my Sheriff does not have Project Lifesaver. How
can we get this program in our county?
Sheriff, the cost of Project Lifesaver will run
around $5600. Compared to one search-and-rescue
effort, a cost of $5600 is very small. However, many
sheriffs either donít have the budget, are unaware
of the program, or simply canít take on the program
for whatever reason. A small community fundraiser
can raise $5600 for the Project Lifesaver program,
but the local law enforcement agency must want
the program and be willing to facilitate it first.
In some cases, even fire departments or a local
church will facilitate the program.
difference between Project Lifesaver and LoJack
use the same equipment (radio frequency), but the
cost structure is a little different. For LoJack
SafetyNet counties, caregivers will pay $30 a month for monitoring. For Project Lifesaver,
no monitoring costs apply, but $300 may be needed
upfront to cover the cost of the wristband. Law
enforcement agencies pay different costs as well.
doesnít want Project Lifesaver, CareTrak or LoJack
SafetyNet. What other tracking options do I have?
technology is an option many parents may choose if
other technology is unavailable or not ideal.
For more information on tracking technologies,
My loved one
with autism is allergic to many things and has other
health problems. Is there another way to communicate
this to first responders in case he/she goes
bracelets are available and will include your name,
telephone number and other important information.
They may also state that your child has autism and
is non-verbal if applicable. Go to
MedicAlert.com to learn more. If
your child will not wear a bracelet or necklace,
consider a temporary tattoo with your contact
here for more information.
What can I
do to prepare for an emergency?
all necessary forms, alert first responders and
neighbors, and ALWAYS TAKE MENTAL NOTE OF WHAT YOUR
CHILD IS WEARING. A Family Wandering Emergency Plan
(FWEP) should also be developed with a step-by-step
guide outlining everything that should happen after
911 is called. Your emergency plan should outline
(contain a map of) your loved oneís most common
locations of interest and have at least one
emergency contact assigned to immediately contact
neighbors. Your neighborsí information should be
kept up to date and readily available.
I do if my loved one is missing?
CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR LOVED ONE IS MISSING.
they have a cognitive impairment, provide the
diagnosis and state that they are endangered and
have no sense of danger.
your child's name.
your childís radio frequency tracking number (if
your child's date of birth, height, weight, and any
other unique identifiers such as eyeglasses and
when you noticed that your child was missing and
what clothing he or she was wearing.
AMBER Alert be issued.
that your child's name and identifying information
be immediately entered into the National Crime
Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File.
youíve done that, implement your
Wandering Emergency Plan
searching the areas your child would likely be.
have reported your child missing to law enforcement,
call the National Center for Missing & Exploited
Children (NCMEC) on their toll-free telephone
number: 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
child disappears in a store, notify the store
manager or security office. Then immediately call
your local law-enforcement agency. Many stores have
plan of actionó if a child is missing in the store,
employees immediately mobilize to look for the
volunteer search efforts.
NOT HAVE A FAMILY WANDERING EMERGENCY PLAN (FWEP) IN
PLACE. WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION SHOULD THE PLAN
should be developed based on your familyís
individualized needs. If you have a child or adult
with autism who may wander, your FWEP should include
step-by-step plan of action should you notice your
child is missing. The first step should always be
to call 911.
Alert Form containing a recent
photo, an updated physical description, your childís
frequency tracking number (if applicable),
information about your childís diagnosis and other
medical issues, and emergency contact information
number for your local law enforcement agencies.
Always make sure local law enforcement has your
Alert Form in their system before
an emergency happens, but be prepared to fax your
alert form and provide a hard copy to law
enforcement just in case it is not.
contact names and numbers. If you have other
children who may need to be picked up from school,
etc., during an emergency, assign a trusted
emergency contact to be responsible for your
children during this time.
assigning five willing volunteers to be your
ready-made search party. This can (ideally) include
neighbors, nearby family and friends. Be sure to
have their contact information on hand, and make
sure they understand their roles in the search
effort ahead of time. Assign different areas for
them to search (i.e. Neighbor X searches the park on
ABC Street, Family Member X searches the pond,
Friend X searches backyards, etc.) Create a map of
locations of interest ahead of time. Always
search areas your child would likely be first.
trusted point person to immediately call neighbors
should your child go missing, especially those with
a pool or body of water on their premises, or those
that may have some item of interest, especially if
your child has gone there before.
your point person has updated contact information
for your neighbors.
your neighbors in the
database, as well as your law enforcement agency.
Should you child go missing, A Child Is Missing will
send an automated call to homes in your
may also contain media contact information.
Understand and encourage
Family Survival Guide for tips on
other information to include in your FWEP.
for a sample FWEP.
My child is
under 18. Why couldnít I just have the police issue
an AMBER Alert?
common misconception that AMBER Alerts are
automatically issued for any child who is missing.
AMBER Alerts are typically only issued for a child
who is seen abducted and believed to be endangered.
To meet AMBER Alert requirements, the child must
five strict criteria.
Sometimes law enforcement will, in fact, issue an
AMBER Alert for a child that has not been abducted
if the child is believed to be endangered, but AMBER
Alerts should not be relied upon as a guarantee for
any child with autism who may wander off. MAKE SURE
THE 911 OPERATOR KNOWS
child has a disability and is endangered.
ALWAYS ASK FOR AN AMBER ALERT TO BE ISSUED.
Alerts are often referred to as ďAMBER Alerts for
seniors,Ē but the truth is, the AMBER Alert system
only applies to abducted children while Silver
Alerts can be issued for missing adults with
cognitive impairments, typically seniors with
dementia or Alzheimerís.
Click here to learn more.
WITH AUTISM is under 18. Are you saying he/she
wouldnít qualify for Silver Alerts or AMBER
on your state laws and your local law enforcement,
but most states only allow Silver Alerts for
seniors or adults 18+ and AMBER Alerts are only
for abducted children 17 and younger.
Some states allow Silver Alerts for all ages, while
others have age criteria the individual must first
Check to see if Silver Alerts are
available in your area and what the requirements
missing-person alert systems like AMBER and Silver
the general public can be critical allies should
your loved one go missing, and alerts like these
offer rapid-response systems. Depending on the
state, alert systems mandate a ready-made search
effort and enhanced communication efforts that may
include media and other public broadcasting
measures. In many cases, children with autism look
like typical kids, or may seem old enough to be
alone. Public alerts that provide descriptions of
these children can greatly increase a childís chance
of being found quickly.
What if my
loved one goes missing and Iím charged with neglect
or Child Protective Services is called? Shouldnít I
try to find my child first before I call 911?
ALWAYS CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR LOVED ONE IS
MISSING. Fear of being judged as a bad or
neglectful parent is understandable, but calling 911
is critical. Autism elopement is not a condition
born out of bad parenting and many children with
autism wander from other environments outside of the
home, including school and day camps. Itís important
to speak with your local first responders about your
childís tendency to wander. Itís also important to
protect yourself as a parent by continually
documenting all the measures youíve taken to prevent
wandering and to ensure your childís safety. Keep
this journal in a safe, accessible place and update
it when necessary.
TOLD THAT MY CHILD HAS TO BE MISSING FOR AT LEAST 24
HOURS BEFORE A MISSING PERSON REPORT CAN BE FILED.
IS THAT TRUE?
CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR CHILD WITH AUTISM IS
MISSING. Federal law (42 USCS ß 5771) prohibits
waiting periods for missing child reports. All
missing children should be immediately entered into
the NCIC database. If your child is over 18, they
may be covered under the Silver Alert system.
Check to see if Silver Alerts exist in your state.
If not, and your adult child
has a disability and/or cognitively functions as a
minor, there should be no waiting periods imposed.
My child has
wandered from my home before, but never from school.
Is there anything I can do to prevent him/her from
wandering off from settings outside the home?
currently no federal laws in place that mandate
parental notification of wandering incidents, and
sadly enough, your child could have wandered from
school without your having been informed of the
incident. Many schools will report incidents of
wandering, but there have been reports of less
significant incidents, such as a child wandering
from a classroom to another part of the building,
going underreported. Every wandering incident is
significant enough to warrant immediate parent
notification. In addition, every child who wanders
or is potentially at risk of wandering, elopement
and/or fleeing, should have a Behavior Plan
developed as part of his IEP.
Please click here for a sample IEP letter requesting
and a behavior plan.
Itís important to observe and address these
incidents to prevent reoccurrence. Failure to
address known wandering tendencies and/or escape
patterns could lead to a much more serious incident.
It only takes one time for a child with autism to
end up in a deadly situation.
school is not fully enclosed. No fencing or
barriers. What should I do?
childís school doesnít have any architectural
barriers (i.e., fences with locked gates) that would
prevent your child from eloping from the campus, it
should be noted in an IEP letter.
Click here for a sample letter.
This is important because it would document that
only staff members could prevent your child from
wandering from school grounds, and this could help
you initiate stronger security measures.
My child has
wandered from his/her school, but they will not lock
the doors because of fire code. How can I keep my
child safe when Iím not there?
document every wandering incident, and find ways to
work with your childís school to address escape
triggers and wandering patterns. A note from your
childís doctor noting these incidents could help
provide sound reasoning for strong security
measures, if not one-on-one supervision. You should
also request that your childís IEP Team develop a
Behavior Plan as part of his IEP.
Click here for a sample letter.
fence around the school playground, but the staff
tends to leave the gate open. My child has wandered
out several times, but they feel this is not
alarming since he/she didnít get far. How should I
Click here for a sample IEP letter.
Your childís school administrator, teacher, aides
and IEP team should be alerted immediately of
this. Failure to address known, preventable escape
patterns and security breaches puts any child at
great risk, especially those who tend to wander off.
If the child is unsafe at school, the child should
remain in a safe environment until the matter is
fully addressed. All security and safety measures
should be taken seriously and implemented
Last year my
child wandered from school grounds, but they did not
call the police. Instead, they tried to locate my
child on their own to avoid A penalty. How can I
ensure that his/her current school wonít do the
sample IEP letter, it is noted
that if any child is missing, an immediate call to
911 must be made. Itís important to call a meeting
with school staff, administrators, and your childís
IEP team to make them aware of past situations, as
well as educate them on the autism wandering issue
in general. Many times school staff and day camp
counselors feel as though a parentís concern is
exaggerated. Never allow them to minimize the
seriousness of this issue. More often than not,
mistakes are learned the hard way.
Sharing stories of
tragedies, however difficult it may
be, can act as a sobering, but necessary reminder
that all precautions should be taken no matter how
confident the care provider may be.
stays with his grandparents in the summer, but they
feel as though he/she would never get away from
them. How do
rules without offending them?
childís safety outweighs all else. If itís helpful,
provide them with this
wandering-prevention brochure and
follow up about your concerns. Outline escape
patterns, triggers, and make sure they understand
that it only takes one time for a child to
quickly slip away. Every setting should be a secure
setting when it comes to your childís safety. If
itís not secure or you have any doubts, itís best to
avoid the risk.
summertime, we have large family gatherings, which
seems safer for my child since there are more people
around. Should I be alarmed if people forget to
close doors or gates?
is actually the very time gates and doors
should remain closed. During any gathering,
one person should be assigned to supervise your
child at all times and carry that responsibility to
the fullest extent. Every member of your
party should be aware of your childís tendency to
wander and a very sound plan should be in place to
ensure your childís safety during the gathering. The
term ďsafety in numbersĒ sounds reassuring, but itís
definitely not in this case. Anytime heavy
distractions are present, a child can slip away
without notice, and because sensory challenges may
be present, extra noise and visual stimulation could
trigger wandering during gatherings.
my adult child with autism attends summer camp. They
feel as though wandering is a rare occurrence, so
how can I help them understand the severity of the
prevention measures should always be in place, and
an emergency response plan should be readily
available. If the camp setting is not secure, or
lacks barriers that could keep your child from
leaving, other strong measuresÖsuch as one-on-one
assignment should be in place. However, anytime
there is doubt about the safety of any setting, itís
best to trust your instincts and opt against the