With spring time approaching soon, individuals will be going outside more, it is an important time to talk about developing a safety protocol at home for your child.
Elopement and wandering are when an individual leaves a house or certain place without someone else seeing or knowing. The elopement could happen out of the house during the night, from the school parking lot or at the park while playing on the playground.
If your student or child is engaging in the behavior of elopement or wandering, I recommend talking with your team to develop a safety protocol and making sure you have all the necessary materials to prevent the elopement or wandering.
My first recommendation is to go to your local police, fire and EMS and introduce yourself and your child or student. Having this interaction could help the individual not fear the first responders. I also recommend asking if they have any services in case the individual does go missing, this could include a data base system or a file that they can create.
Another resource that is available is a tracking device. There are a variety of tracking devices that are available, some are free and some require payment. Some the tracking devices include, Project Lifesaver, Angel Sense and Trackimo. Another resource is The Vitals App, which shows information about an individual on a smart device in a quick way.
Another resource is from the National Autism Association. They have created a safety box that families can get for free and it includes wireless door alarms, medical ID bracelets, visual stop signs and window clings for the car and home.
One thing that people sometimes forget is including information about the individual in the car. We don’t want to think about car accidents, but they do happen, and you can be prepared. My first recommendation is getting a seat belt covered for the individual, including important information about the individual. Another recommendation is putting contact information, de-escalation strategies and type of communication method on a document in the glove compartment. The last recommendation is having a visual outside the car to indicate that an individual with special needs may be in the car. I have attached a document that you can fill out and place in your glove compartment about your individual. Document was provided from Tanager Place.
The last recommendation is creating a safe space at home. There are multiple different locks that also can be bought to help prevent an individual from wandering.The locks can be placed on the door and the windows. The type of lock will depend on the individual but here are some locks that families I work with have had success with.
I also stress to families that it is important to work on teaching answering personal information questions, your child does not need to be verbal to share this information. This could include teaching the individual to communicate where they live, their parents’ names and their names. If you are looking for lesson plans, please reach out!