Wandering Kids With Autism: Learn How To Transform Panic Into Help
Research article Open access | Available online on: 10 November, 2019 | Last update: 10 November, 2019
Nothing can dent the beauty of rising a child, and modern families learn very fast how to transform risks and challenges into opportunities to better parenting. Dealing with autism is not a simple task for a parent, and one always hears or reads misleading articles about how an autist child could easily get you trouble.
However, more and more scientific literature conveys a rather different message: all the problems that a child suffering from autism and her/his family have could easily be managed with better knowledge and a proper effort to let others know about your kid’s condition.
One of these problems is wandering by children with autism, which always puts stress on families. Very important to know from the start: how to manage the ‘guilt’ phase. A 2012 US study showed that that autism-related wandering does not stem from inattentive parenting. And again, the same study revealed that half of all parents had received no help or guidance at all on how to manage the situation and keep the children safe.
Below you’ll find some useful pieces of advice to prevent wandering and what could easily become a wandering-related critical situation.
- Know Your Environment: Secure Your Home
The first step in ensuring your child’s safety is to improve prevention in your home. It may require professional help, like a good locksmith or a security company: they’ll know what to do to prevent your children wandering away without you noticing. Such measures could include secure dead bolt locks that require keys on both sides, a home security alarm system, inexpensive batteryoperated alarms on doors, placing hook and eye locks on all doors above your child›s reach, fencing your yard, adhering printable STOP SIGNS to doors, windows and other exits etc. Wandering Kids With Autism: Learn How To Transform Panic Into Help
- A Tracking Device
We may live in the digital era, but when a child’s safety is at stake it shouldn’t sound so scary. The devices available now on the market are less intrusive than they used to be, and you could easily locate your child through radio frequency. Your kid wearing a GPS tracking device is also an option. Just make an effort and do some research, as there a lot of efficient options on the market which could prevent a tense situation.
Studies all over the world confirm that wandering by children with autism is common, dangerous and puts tremendous stress on families. An assistive technology solution that can help address this problem would be a GPS tracking device specifically design for this purpose. These would be a compact GPS tracking and SOS device ideal for people with special needs, like autism, dementia and others. These can be carried on the child as a keychain, around the neck, or in the pocket.
The main feature such devices are:
– Mini Sized.
– Real time tracking system using GPS or GSM.
– Simple SMS commands for tracking and registering Emergency Contacts
– Fall Detection for children.
– Geo-Fence alarm and over speed alarm capabilities.
– Movement alarm.
– SOS emergency Buddy Button.
– Stores three Emergency Contacts.
– Two-Way voice calls.
– Power saving mode.
Using such devices, parents can easily track their children in real-time through sending SMS commands or by calling the SIM nuvmber installed to the device. To know more, please contact Mada Center
- An ID Bracelet
Kids could wear medical ID bracelets with your name, address and other important data on them. Some offer the option to state that your child has autism and is non-verbal (if the case). A very clever way to replace that method is to apply a temporary tattoo with your contact information, knowing that your child is sometimes tempted to wander away from home.
- Swimming Lessons
You’ll never know what an autistic child could encounter when wandering without surveillance. Teaching her/him how to swim may save her life, and don’t forget to teach them to swim with their clothes on, too. If you own a pool, be sure you fence it and remove all ‘attractive’ toys from it. Also, don’t forget to inform your pool owners in the neighbourhood that your child has a tendency to wander.
- Neighbours Alert
A good piece of advice is to pay a visit to your neighbours and provide them a photo of your kid. Think of your neighbourhood as a big family always help, at least you’ll have some comfort knowing that someone will recognize her or him and alert you
- First Responders Should Know… First!
A better response to a critical situation could come if you provide first repsonders with key information. An informational handout always comes useful in these kind of times. Be sure you have plenty of copies and you circulate them to family, neighbors, friends and coworkers, as well as first responders.
What if she/he wanders at school?
Here are some useful tips coming from other caregivers’ critical experience.
– Talk to the school’s teachers. Make them aware of these past situations, as well as educate them on the autism wandering issue in general.
– Get a written statement or letter from the school’s principal that the staff will always and immediately inform you of any wandering incident on or off the campus. If your child requires 1-on-1 supervision, be sure to make this extremely clear to school staff.
– Share your ‘research’ with the school staff to help them prepare if such an incident occurs: where has your child been found in the past? What are his or her fascinations or obsessions? Where would he/she most likely be drawn to near campus?
– Be heard and seen! Ask the staff about security measures used by the school and be sure that the security team knows about your child – not only how she or he looks, but how to calm her or him down, whether or not he or she responds well to touch, sound, etc.
Therefore, always keep in mind that information is critical. Combined with a better prevention plan, wandering incident could be dramatically reduced and controlled. Remember that you don’t live in or on a cloud, and it’s very important that all around you should always know about facts or changes in your kid’s condition that could not only improve the environment she or he lives in, but could save the child’s life.