WORKING TO PREVENT WANDERING INCIDENTS AND DEATHS WITHIN THE AUTISM COMMUNITY

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FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

Autism now affects 1 in 88 individuals (1 in 50 students), and almost half are prone to wandering away from a safe environment such as school or home.  Individuals with autism are often attracted to water, yet have little to no sense of danger.  Drowning is a leading cause of death in children with autism.

Here are six important tips to help improve response time and prevent fatalities:

  1. Have readily available information about an individual with autism

  2. Use technology tools, such as tracking devices and Reverse 911

  3. Use Alert Systems, such as Endangered Missing Advisories (EMAs)

  4. Train on how to properly interact with a person who has autism

  5. Listen to the caregiver for clues - they know the child best

  6. Always search nearby water first

CRITICAL RESOURCES

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Search Guidelines | En Espanol
Big Red Safety Toolkit for First Responders
First Responder Brochure
One-Sheeter for Law Enforcement
Search Checklist

TRACKING SYSTEMS
Project Lifesaver: http://www.projectlifesaver.org
LoJack SafetyNet: http://www.lojacksafetynet.com

SEARCH TOOLS & ASSISTANCE
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 1-800-THE-LOST
Reverse 911:  http://www.achildismissing.org 954-763-1288
EMA Guidelines: http://www.ncjrs.gov
"Take Me Home" Software: 50-436-5416 or email jdonohoe@ci.pensacola.fl.us

TRAINING
Autism Risk Management:  http://www.autismriskmanagement.com
The Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition:  http://www.sncarc.org/alec.htm
The Law Enforcement Awareness Network:  http://www.leanonus.org
Autism Alliance for Local Emergency Responder Training:  http://www.AutismAlert.org