How many #Autism Parents are worried about wandering?

How many #Autism Parents are worried about wandering?

In the wake of the tragic news about 4 year old Travis, I was wanting to get a feel for how many of you are worried about your child with Autism wandering off. Has you child with Autism ever wandered off? How did you locate them? What preventative measures have you taken to prevent this from happening? Do you have any tips or tricks that can help other parents struggling with this same issue?

Something that I shouldn’t have to say but I will anyway. So many times, kids with Autism wander off despite the very best efforts of their loving parents to prevent it. A child with Autism wandering off, does not necessarily equate to bad parenting. Please keep this in mind…

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When my son was kindergarten age, he was a “runner.”  We had to keep changing the locks because he’d get out and run down the street.  At one point we had his name, address, and phone number stamped into a metal disk that we attached via safety pin to the tag in the back of his shirt.  He grew out of that quickly, but I was terrified more than once.

Monique Calello

Heck yea! My daughter not only wanders in a heartbeat, she also has no sense of street traffic. Twice I’ve had to run into a street and that was when she was with me!

Courtney Crow Wyrtzen

My daughter has something similar to autism (it used to be classified as an extreme form of autism) — she will walk away if left unattended at all. When she was small she walked out of a church service that was held in a high school gym. The high school building was huge with several stories, winding hallways, and lots of stairs! She is unable to use stairs but would try and is a huge fall risk. They stopped church to have people look for her. It was probably only 5 minutes before we found her but it felt like an eternity. Just today as her birthday party at a bowling alley was winding down she decided she was done and headed for the door! Thankfully at home she is unable to open the door on her own but if someone leaves a crack she is all over it!

Kim Kennedy

Its never happened….thank god but its in my nightmares.

Jen Garibaldi

Not yet but it terrifies me. I can absolutely see it happening.

Gilda M Sanchez

When my son was on the medication Olanzapine, it made him very, very, spaced out. He was with us for an open house at his school and we happened to be in his sister’s classroom listening in on a presentation by the teacher. My husband had his eyes on my son the whole time except for about 5 seconds when it required him to be out of sight of where he was playing at the school playground area. When my husband went to get back to him, he was gone. My son had wandered off campus in that short 5 seconds by himself. He never did this to us before, ever. He presumably thought another family that was leaving was his, and he kept on walking. By the time I tore out of the meeting to get to him he was running to get back home, but he was not yielding to traffic. He was okay, thankfully. I got so unhappy with this first time of elopement. It was surely caused by the medication Olanzapine and I immediately requested it be stopped from his plan. Antipsychotics notoriously blunt the executive functions (rational thinking) of the brain, so it was more risk to take the medication than be on it. We have to predict the worst, hope for the best, and be prepared at all times.

Clementine Kruczynski

Yes….more then once…he was found by the cops once after climbing up and unlocking our door…once in a river after crawling out a doggie door…once jumping in puddles at a friends apartment complex…once in the neighbors kiddie pool…once three blocks away while visiting someone in another state again by the cops…ugh. Doorknob locks help for us right now.

Carrollynn Henshaw

It is such a scary situation! Our front door had been left unlocked for 7 minutes. That’s all it took. Of course I had to search thru the entire house first because our son is non-verbal and doesn’t respond to his name!

Lost and Tired

My oldest Gavin was told to go around the house collecting things that we could recycle. He enjoys recycling. After a few minutes, we went to see how he was doing and couldn’t find him anywhere. Turns out, he had let himself out of the house and was going down the street, digging through peoples trash cans looking for things he could recycle.

Carrollynn Henshaw

Yes. A frantic 911 call ensued. The police located him 3 blocks from home, playing naked in someone’s yard sprinkler.
It was 5 years ago (he was 4) and I still have flashback panic attacks to when I opened the door and saw his binkie and blanket abandoned on the front porch.

Lost and Tired

Has anyone experienced their child with #Autism wandering?


Let’s just put it this way: I wasn’t given the nickname “The Fox” for nothing. When I was in a store I wandered so frequently, my Dad would often joke about buying a toddler harness for me. That would’ve have worked out great if I had been 2 years old at the time and not like 12 or 13 years old. 

I knew not to leave the store, I also knew to go to customer service to have my Dad paged if I began to worry, however it was the other way around with him paging me. I didn’t move very fast so it’s actually funny in retrospect that between my Dad and my sister each taking an aisle, have serious trouble finding me! There were times that we would just miss each other by an aisle or so.

PS: What does “The Fox” say? 😉

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