According to survey data published in the journal Pediatrics, nearly half of families reported their children with Autism Spectrum Disorder wandered or eloped from safe environments. Finding and safely recovering a missing child on the autism spectrum presents unique and difficult challenges for families, law enforcement, first responders and search teams. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has special search protocols and checklists to help first responders.
Children on the autism spectrum go missing under a variety of circumstances. They may seek out small or enclosed spaces. They may wander toward places of special interest to them. Or they may try to escape overwhelming stimuli such as sights, sounds, surroundings or activities of others. You can help them become more familiar with these sights and sounds by hosting an Autism-friendly sensory event.
Click here if you would like to request training around this issue for your community or law enforcement organization.