I just finished up listening to Wendy of NAA on Talk About Curing Autism’s Autism-Related Wandering: Keeping Our Kids Safe Webinar.
I know that a few of our kids are huge wanders, bolters and runners, mine being one of them. I thought I would share a few of the things I learned.
AWAARE is a GREAT resource.
This book is part of the NAA's Big Red Safety Box program should be printed and given to our local first responders, including firefighters, police, local hospitals, etc. This book should be given to all caregivers of your child.
If your child wanders, bolts, runs, etc. fill this out in advance so you can easily give it to first responders. Keep a current one in your car or in your purse for when you are away from home.
Wendy mentioned that many families delay in calling 911 due to worries about CPS and of police thinking that they are neglectful. She said calling 911 immediately is the most important thing you can do. She also recommended keeping a notebook of all the preventative things you do, along with all of the incidents of wandering and what you did to try to correct the situation. I am a BIG fan of documentation.
As of 2011 we also have a VERY IMPORTANT new diagnoses code for wandering. Getting our children the ICD-9 diagnosis can show that we are doing all the preventative measures we can to keep our children safe. Having this medical diagnosis also can help with getting school districts to comply with keeping our children safe including helping with 1:1 aid supports. If this is a concern of yours please bring it up to your doctor at your next visit.
In San Diego we also have the Take Me Home Program. If you have not enrolled your child in it, I highly encourage you to do so ASAP. If you have enrolled your child, I encourage you once a year to look at that information, picture, etc. and update it. For me I use Austin’s birthday as a reminder.
If you do not have a child like mine, please consider donating enough for a family like mine to get a free Big Red Safety Box. The alarms in the Big Red Safety Box have been a life saver at our house.
PitaUp and let’s keep our families healthy, happy and especially safe!