Empowering the Special Needs Community
How to Ensure Schools Are Well-Prepared for Lock Downs
Sending a special needs child to school is hard enough, but when you can’t control the unexpected, it’s even more stressful. One of the most difficult experiences for a child on the autism spectrum to handle is a lockdown drill, yet they are becoming far more prevalent in American schools. For parents and educators, the concern over how to keep a child with autism safe during a lockdown weighs heavily.
Preparation is important to any emergency. Lockdown drills are practiced in order to prepare students for a real crisis, but children with autism need to have the appropriate support. As many parents and educators already know, AngelSense GPS trackers can make a significant difference in a school lockdown situation, but for the best success, parents, educators, and administrators must work together.
Determine the tools necessary to keep students safe.
What tools will keep a student with autism calm and safe?
- Establish a routine that the child can follow if a lock down is triggered.
- Provide ear plugs to block out noise and offer a quiet fidget toy to occupy their attention.
- Appoint someone (an aid, teacher, or fellow student) to be the child’s “buddy” during lockdowns who can provide comfort.
This ensures the safety of not just the autistic child, but other students and staff.
How AngelSense can help during a lockdown.
There are features included in GPS trackers that can help during a school lockdown. The listen-in feature can help the parent or caregiver determine if the child is calm and safe, and the indoor search can help you find a missing child inside a building. Make sure that all staff and the child are aware of “safe spots,” which can help pinpoint location if a child wanders from supervision during the lockdown drill. Assistive technology like AngelSense should not be used independently of conversations with critical staff like the behavior specialist, teacher, and principal.
“I went to pick up my son from school and my fear came true -cops running around the building with their guns drawn. One of the cops said there was a school lock-down. I remembered my son had his AngelSense on him so I was able to tell him I’m right outside waiting for him and that everything is going to be ok. That helped so much to calm him down. I owe a big thank you to AngelSense. Very grateful nobody was hurt!” Carrie E.
AngelSense can help after a lockdown.
Once a lockdown is over, AngelSense can be very helpful in calming or locating a child. However, schools should be aware that these features should never be used without confirmation from authorities that it is safe. Otherwise, you could be putting the child in danger by revealing their location to a perpetrator. The alarm can be used to locate a missing child, and the AngelCall feature can help a parent calm a worried or scared child. AngelCall can also be used to communicate with surrounding staff to make sure that protocols listed in the IEP are being followed.
Transition and change are difficult hurdles to maneuver, especially for children with autism. Parents can work with schools to prepare beforehand the steps that should be taken to ensure the safety of their child. With the help of AngelSense, lockdown drills can go as smoothly as possible. Training the schools and the student is necessary in emergency situations, and AngelSense GPS trackers offer unique supports to ensure the focus can remain on keeping all children safe.