Wandering and Elopement are really serious matters. Wandering happens when someone moves around from place to place with/without a set plan. Elopement happens when someone leaves via wandering, running, walking, or getting away from a safe area where there is supervision essentially going unnoticed.
Accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism ages 14 and younger. 68% of these deaths happened in a nearby pond, lake, creek or river. That is why swimming lessons are so important. Please click here for a list of YMCA locations that offer special needs swimming lessons, and be sure that your child’s last lesson is with clothes and shoes on.
If you know or suspect your child is being bullied, but his school has not communicated with you about the situation, you should contact your child’s teacher(s) right away. Keep in mind that your primary goal should be to get the school’s cooperation to get the bullying to stop. Knowing your own child is being victimized can evoke strong feelings, but you will get much more cooperation from school personnel if you can stick to the facts without becoming overly emotional. While you may want assurance that everyone involved is punished severely, try to focus on putting an end to the bullying.
It is imperative that your home and community equally serve as places of safety so taking precautions like rearranging furniture so that it blocks windows, putting extra locks on doors, placing alarms that sound when doors are opened and utilizing baby monitors to name a few things help greatly in securing the home. It is so important to know your neighbors within your community. Introduce yourself and family and make them aware that your child or children are autistic, definitely if your child has the tendency to wander.
The safety of our children while traveling is always a number one priority. Car seats and seat belt buckle guards for autistic children is a great investment. These guards make it difficult for children to un-click their seat belts while the vehicle is in motion.
Individuals, especially children, who suffer from disabilities are more likely to be abused than children without disabilities. If your child has unexplained bruises, pain, burns, weight loss, changes in behavior or avoiding of people or places, it may indicate a sign of abuse. Parents are encouraged to have an open line of communication to educate their children (teach your child the actual name of their private parts) about red flags (what’s appropriate touching and not appropriate touching) and abuse (your body is your own and no one has the right to do anything against your will) itself to help in preventing any mishandling. Contact the law (dial 911 and report) immediately if you suspect any form of abuse has happened.
Sources and helpful links:
Autism Speaks – Autism Safety Project – http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/autism-safety-project
Autism Safety – Autism Safety Initiative – http://www.autismsafety.org/
Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response and Education (AWAARE) Collaboration – Wandering Tips – http://www.awaare.org/
Child ID Temporary Safety Tattoos – http://www.safetytat.com/
MedicAlert Foundation® – Kid’s Medical ID – http://www.medicalert.org/autism/children-with-autism
eSpecial Needs – Safety Locators – http://www.especialneeds.com/autism-child-locators-safety.html
National Autism Association – Wandering Information – http://nationalautismassociation.org/resources/awaare-wandering/
National Autism Association – Big Red Safety Shop – http://nationalautismassociation.org/store/#!/Big-Red-Safety-Shop/c/2416355/offset=0&sort=normal