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Finding Lost Children with Autism Improves with the Use of GPS Technology

October 29, 2018

Children with autism are prone to wandering, and at least half of these vulnerable children will go missing at least once in their lifetime. It’s a sobering statistic, leaving parents wondering what they will do if one of their worst nightmares becomes reality. Luckily, technology has advanced and so have laws supporting funding for GPS trackers, but rescue efforts should never move forward without a personalized approach.

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Individual challenges complicate rescue efforts.

Children with autism will run to or from something for several different reasons. Combined with sensory challenges, even a caregiver calling after them does not always deter a child with autism from disappearing into a crowd. Every child with autism has unique needs, and it’s critical that a plan for rescue involve a detailed profile.

A creative approach is more successful.

When parents and caretakers understand the child’s likes and dislikes, they are more likely to discover the location of the missing child. Many children with autism are nonverbal and may not come out of hiding for a stranger. However, if something like a cartoon character or favorite song is used to entice the child to the location of first responders, chances of ensuring the child’s safety are much higher. Considering what the missing child is drawn to, such as trains or movies, will help guide search efforts.

Training and technology are crucial.

Children with autism are not likely to be located through traditional search methods, and new legislation like Kevin and Avonte’s Law offer critical resources to first responders. Departments can get grants from the Department of Justice to improve training to better understand this vulnerable population and to develop programs and purchase technology to help locate missing children in a shorter time frame. Children with autism lack an understanding of when they are in danger, resulting in twice the mortality rate of other children, so it’s imperative that search efforts are targeted.

Protect children before they go missing.

For parents and caregivers that want peace of mind, GPS trackers like AngelSense offer real-time tracking to help prevent a tragedy before it occurs. Parents will know when a child arrives at school or if they have been delayed. Notifications will alert caregivers that a child is in an atypical location, and they will be able to locate a missing child with specialized tracking features that map inside and outside of buildings.

AngelSense is proven to save lives.

Ensuring the safety of children with autism does involve the entire community, and it starts with a better understanding of how to find one of these vulnerable children in the event they go missing. Time is critical, and with the combined efforts of technology and ingenuity in locating these children, more lives can be saved.

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