One of the many challenges in cring for a child with autism is that they could wander or run off at any moment, without any warning. This happened recently in Salisbury. See the article below:
The all-out search Sunday afternoon for a 21/2-year-old boy ended happily for his family and rescue teams when he was found sitting quietly in tall weeds just 30 feet from the end of his parents’ yard.
During the two-hour search, numerous people were within a few feet of David Croyle without knowing it. The youngster displays autistic-type behavior and has therapists who visit him weekly at his Archer Farm Drive home. He ... READ MORE
These tips below may help:
- Use a stop sign and teach your child how to stop and go using the sign. It may take months/years to teach this new skill.
- Use baby M&M's (or his favorite treat) to get your child to come to you when you call his name. Get the entire family too assist in this. Call him/her, dad brings him to you, to clap really big and give him a tiny treat. Repeat it several times every day.
- If your child ever wanders off, call 911 immediately. Let them know that the child has autism and will not answer or come to his name.
- Inform Your Neighbors – Give them a handout with a picture of your child, physical characteristics, emergency contact information and details about how to effectively approach/communicate with and calm your child.
- Place STOP or DO NOT ENTER signs on doors – These powerful visual cues and reminders can help stop a child from wandering.
- Secure Your Home – Use deadbolt locks, keep doors and windows locked and install an alarm system/alert, chimes on doors. Consider motion detectors and window bars.
- Teach Your Child to Swim as soon as possible – Because people with autism are drawn to water, such as pools, ponds and lakes, swimming lessons can be invaluable.
- * Eliminate Triggers for Wandering – If your child has a fixation on certain sounds or objects that draw him/her to investigate and wander, eliminate those distractions when ever possible
- Get an ID Bracelet/Necklace – List emergency contact information on personal IDs and on tags for personal belongings. Another idea is to place the emergency information in their shoe. Police know to look there
- Use a Monitor/Camera at Bedtime – A sound or video monitor provides constant surveillance, even when you are in a different room.
- Install a Fence – Set latches high and out of reach on the outside of gates.