WORKING TO PREVENT WANDERING INCIDENTS AND DEATHS WITHIN THE AUTISM COMMUNITY

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SAMPLE IEP LETTER

Dear (List School Administratorís Name) and IEP Team;

Our child, (full name and DOB), attends (list name of school) and has a diagnosis of autism. He/she is susceptible to wandering, elopement and fleeing incidents. We are writing to request that the District complete a Behavior Assessment and hold an IEP meeting to discuss and develop an appropriate Behavior Plan to address these behaviors.

(Name) is extremely interested in (include any outside attractions, such as areas of water, pools, lakes, ponds and creeks). He/she will wander off to get to these areas and all measures must be taken to ensure his/her safety.

Due to (name)ís tendency to wandering, including (list any past incidents) his/her physician has drafted the attached letter strongly urging close one-on-one adult supervision.

Should (name) wander, 911 should be called IMMEDIATELY. We also request immediate parental notification of ANY wandering incident, including incidents where he/she may have wandered within the building. All incidents must be well documented, and include when and how the occurrence took place.

Please be advised that failure to address known, preventable escape patterns and security breaches puts our child at great risk. We ask for your cooperation in working with us to report all incidents, to make sure the schoolís premises has proper architectural barriers in place, to ensure all school staff members are aware of his/her tendency to wander or flee, to ensure fences have child-proof gates and exterior doors always be shut, and to ensure that our child is never left unattended no matter what the circumstance.

(NOTE: If your childís school does not have fencing or other architectural barriers, this should be noted in detail.)

Incidents that may trigger fleeing include (list triggers or other pertinent information).

De-escalation methods are best in preventing self-injurious behavior (SIB) or fleeing the premises. As the attached physician letter also strongly recommends, calming methods should be facilitated by the staff member most familiar with (name), and aversive methods including the use of restraints or seclusion shall not be utilized under any circumstances, and escalation triggers (such as...) should be avoided.

We look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

(your name and signature)