Avonte’s Law Could Save Thousands of Kids’ LivesDecember 8, 2015
A guest post by Natasha Cornin, an AngelSense GPS and Voice Monitoring Solution expert user and customer care specialist.
Learn how AngelSense GPS tracking solution can help you improve your child’s safety and well-being.
Earlier last month marked the second anniversary of the tragic disappearance of Avonte Oquendo, a young autistic teenager, from his school in Queens. After an extensive three month search, his body was found in New York City’s East River. But his story doesn’t end here. Avonte’s face has become a symbol in the autism community. This tragic story has touched parents around the country. It has opened their eyes to the fact that children, especially those with autism, have a tendency to wander, and often aren’t able to find their way home.
In the wake of the two year anniversary, a march was held in memory of Avonte. The march aimed to raise awareness about children who wander. Leading the march was Avonte’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine, who called on policymakers to take action against this epidemic. Hundreds of parents joined the march to show their support. This issue is now too serious to ignore, with some estimates suggesting that nearly half of all children with autism will run away before their 18th birthday.
In response to Avonte’s death, Fontaine has been advocating for a new law, Avonte’s Law, that would allocate $10 million a year in federal funding to local law enforcement agencies and schools to acquire the necessary tracking devices to keep kids with special needs from wandering. You can find out more about the proposed law and sign the petition here. Although we’re not quite there yet, this bill could go a long way toward keeping children safe.
A real fear for all mothers
As a Manhattan native, and a mother of a young boy with autism and speech apraxia, Avonte’s story resonates with me. I constantly worry about Jaeden, my son, and his safety as he has issues communicating, and has a tendency to run off. Because I can’t always protect him, and I want to ensure his safety, I rely on a GPS device to track his whereabouts.
Avonte’s story is a daily reminder that the world is not safe for Jaeden. This is why I proudly represent AngelSense, an organization that strives to keep my son and thousands of other children with special needs out of harm’s way. Over this past year, AngelSense’s GPS tracker was used to save the lives of two special needs children. In February, local authorities used AngelSense to track down a missing boy who ran away into the woods. Over this past summer, a young girl in Texas was abducted while taking her daily walk. Her mother was instantly notified, and empowered to be able to locate her and save her from sexual assault.
Let’s join together to make a difference
Every year the haunting video of Avonte running away from his school resurfaces on the news as a reminder of his tragic disappearance. Watching the video this year hit a nerve. In the two years since his disappearance, so little has been done to protect our children. Over this past summer, at least 5 children with autism were found dead due to wandering-related incidents. The scariest part is that our children are unaware of the dangers that surround them, and we cannot always be there to protect them.
Action needs to be taken in order to protect our children. It’s our shared responsibility to fight for the safety of special needs children across the country. After all, we are the voices that can advocate for a law like this to pass.
I urge all of you to sign the petition to pass Avonte’s Law so that more parents can get access to tools like AngelSense to protect their children.
AngelSense is committed to creating a safer world for special needs children in the hope that we can prevent a repeat of Avonte’s tragedy. Our cutting-edge GPS tracking and monitoring solution was designed to give parents the peace of mind that their little ones are safe at all times. You deserve peace of mind too. Join AngelSense Today.