I shared this story several years ago but wanted to share it again because it’s such an important issue and because I’m working with AngelSense to help tackle the issue of autism and wandering.
One of my closest friends has two boys with autism. I have watched her unload them from her vehicle, clinging to one while holding her leg across her van door to keep the other from escaping. If she doesn’t move quickly they will be off to whatever catches their twinkling eyes, undoubtedly in different directions.
On Sunday, her beautiful five year old boy followed his curious eyes right out of their home and past the garage door. She and her husband were both home but it only takes a second. That second when one of you knows the other is playing with your son and the other knows that you are feeding him lunch and he is in neither place. By the time the police arrived she was frantic. A neighbor had offered to look for him and her husband was searching as well. Officers spotted her son nearing a busy road but they did not approach him, for fear of his reaction. He weighs all of forty pounds, was barefoot and balancing his prized beanie babies but a police officer was scared off by the word autism.
My friend’s neighbor got to her son first, she comforted him until she could pass him safely to his mom. Today they are ordering alarms for their doors and combing through reviews for safety locks and introducing their boys to every person in the neighborhood while they try to shake off the could have been‘s.
This little boy walked/ran through a neighborhood full of adults, headed for something that caught his eye or a place he couldn’t quite communicate and no one stopped him. No one went out of their way to pause for a barefoot little guy running past with beanie babies in hand. The police didn’t help, only a kind-hearted neighbor came to their aide.
Maybe we do need more autism awareness. Maybe we need better training and more communication and affordable tracking devices and plans to make sure that everyone, EVERY.ONE. understands how autism can affect a family. It may not be your child but it is one in every 68 children so it IS your neighbor’s child, your daughter’s schoolmate, the boy on your son’s soccer team. It takes a village. An understanding, empathetic village who doesn’t mind taking a step out of their comfort zone to make sure one little boy doesn’t take so many steps past his own.
To help prevent wandering and give parents peace of mind, AngelSense has created an amazing GPS tracking device for kids with autism. The device can be worn on clothing and will alert you as your child’s location changes. Created by parents of children with autism, AngelSense is one of the most comprehensive tracking devices I’ve seen.
Since Ashlyn has long since grown out of her running days, I was not able to review the product but love this comprehensive review done by Autism Daddy. I’m thrilled to be able to give away one AngelSense kit and one full year of service.
You can enter below…
Powered by Facebook Comments