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Safety Tips – Wandering

Help protect your child from risks involved with wandering.

Wandering is a major problem in children and adults with autism, Children with autism often have compromised communication abilities, impulsive behaviors, and lack a sense of danger.  Summer activities present extra opportunities for them to stray.

Incidents related to wandering such as drowning and external exposure are leading causes of death of children and adults with autism, according to a 2008 Dutch scientific study. Several local recent wandering incidents involving children with autism have highlighted the need for parents, caregivers, and authorities to take precautions to minimize the risks.  Taking precautions and preparing ahead of time can prevent wandering or can make finding a missing child an easier task.

Online Resources

Are you prepared for an emergency? Here are downloadable and printable identification handout forms to fill out ahead of time. They will alert important people to your child’s identity and characteristics in the event your child becomes lost.

The National Autism Association has a toolkit that addresses safety issues — check it out by clicking here:

BIG RED TOOLKIT for caregivers

Form for First Responders

Click here When filled out ahead of time this form can be very helpful for police. It contains a detailed profile of the missing person, information on the child’s routine and habits and a place for his or her photo to be pasted.



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