Losing the sight of your kid even for few second is a heart-stopping moment for any parents. Every parent wishes to be present with their little ones all the time but even Santa can’t grant this wish.
Eloping or wandering is the common behavior of kids suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Statistics show that autistic children start developing the eloping tendency at the young age of four and innocently wander from home or safe places to outdoors.
Safeguarding their kids from elopement is the biggest challenge for parents of the autistic child. Read onto know ways to mitigate the risks related to wandering.
Inform the School
Autistic children are prone to bullying and informing the teachers and classmates about your kid’s condition can lessen the risk of bullying. You can request the school staff to pay extra attention to your child.
Secure your House
Adding more locks to your house is the simplest way to enhance the security of your house. You can add a deadbolt on all the doors to stop your children from getting out of the house without adult supervision; go for the deadbolt that needs a key from both sides. Always remember to shut the door when you come inside or go outside. Installing a security system or alarms can also be a good option as they alert you if someone opens windows or main door.
Customized ID Bracelet Is Useful
Give your child a customized ID bracelet with your address, phone number and kid’s name written on it. The ID bracelet can assist them to find their way back home and also help search groups or police to find and identify them in case they elope. These IDs can be very helpful if your child is non-verbal as the information written on the IDs let you find your kid as soon as possible. You can even go for small ID tags and attach it to your kid’s shoes or clothes.
Teach them the Basic Safety Rules
Try to keep the doors locked all the time and impart some basic safety rule to them. If your autistic child knows driving then you need to them about a few basic driving safety tips. Securing them with a GPS locator is also a good option as you can see you child’s location and transit speed on a live map and these locators also give speed alerts if he/she does the rash driving. Explaining them about dangers like predators, abductors, unfriendly dogs, and speeding traffic is also beneficial.
Introduce them to Neighbors
Familiarizing your kids with neighbors and safe people like police, fire-fighter is also important. You can show their pictures and tell your kids to take help from them in case they ever get lost or face any trouble. Tell them about the potential danger of wandering and teach them how to approach safe people if he/she gets lost. Take help of videos, visual tools to explain the possible dangers present on the road and teach them how to handle it in case of an emergency situation.
Provide Swimming Lesson
Autistic children are attracted to water bodies so it is vital to enroll your kids in the swimming lessons to keep them safe in the water. This helps in avoiding any potential danger of drowning in case they accidentally slip into any water bodies.
A Good Sleep is Important
Poor sleep quality can also be a reason for wandering in autistic children. Make a sleep schedule for your kid and ask them to follow it daily. Try to lessen the interval of daytime naps so that they can have sound sleep at night.
Give them A GPS Tracker
Buying a locator or tracker is a good option as these high-end gadgets can give the exact location of your child on a real-time map. A GPS tracker like Trakbond Trail is ideal for autistic children as they can easily carry it in school, parks or outings because of its small size. These trackers come with a geo-fencing feature that let you make safe-zone regions for your kids and it also sends an alert via text or push notifications if your child goes to an unknown region.
Final Piece of Advice
Being a parent is a blessing of god but parenthood comes with a lot of responsibilities. Always remember your child is special and he/she needs your utmost attention. So have patience and handle your kiddo with love and care.