The Constant Worry of Wandering & Elopement

May 24, 2018

A news report from ABC Affiliate WMAR in Baltimore focuses on the dangers of wandering and elopement by children with autism.

“There was no sign (of him) and it was as if the world just stopped”, recounts autism mom Tonia Ferguson on the day she woke up and her son was missing. It’s a fearful experience that many families in the autism community can relate to.

Luckily, Ferguson’s son was found safe. Other endings are not so happy. Death from drowning or accidents after wandering or eloping are common in autism. A new law, Kevin & Avonte’s Law, which SafeMinds helped to pass this year, may help to stem the tide of tragic endings.

The bill funds training for law enforcement and health care agencies on issues of wandering for autism as well as other conditions like dementia. It would make tracking devices more accessible to families.

As SafeMinds Executive Director Lisa Wiederlight explained to WMAR, “I think it’s so important for law enforcement to have training.”

SafeMinds will report on how local agencies can access funds from Kevin & Avonte’s Law as requirements of the legislation are put into place.

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