Monday, October 08, 2012

Study Shows Autistic Children Are Likely to Wander

Help save a life. Tell anti-autism people who think autistics are just misbehaving kids who are pretending, that Autism and its struggles are real.

"The behavior, called wandering or elopement, has led to numerous deaths in autistic children by drowning and in traffic accidents. Now a new study of more than 1,200 families with autistic children suggests wandering is alarmingly common. Nearly half of parents with an autistic child age 4 or older said their children had tried to leave a safe place at least once, the study reported. One in four said their children had disappeared long enough to cause concern. Many parents said their wandering children had narrowly escaped traffic accidents or had been in danger of drowning.

"Those at greatest risk of wandering off were autistic children with severe intellectual deficits and those who do not respond to their names. The research was published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

(...) "Advocates for families affected by autism say the findings underscore the need to raise public awareness and alter policy. While Amber alerts are used to mobilize the public when a child is believed to have been abducted, for instance, generally they are not used when a disabled child goes missing, said Alison Singer, president and a founder of the Autism Science Foundation, one of the organizations that supported the study.

"Emergency responders should receive special training on how to search for autistic children who are nonverbal and often scared by lights and sirens, she said. Emergency personnel also need to know to check streams or ponds, since many children with autism are drawn to bodies of water, as well as highways.

"One in 88 children in the United States received a diagnosis of autism, Asperger syndrome or a related disorder in 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While some of these children are socially awkward but high functioning, others have limited intellectual and cognitive abilities." Continue reading: Study Shows Children With Autism Tend to Stray - By RONI CARYN RABIN October 8, 2012 The New York Times