Jo Ashline sets a door lock, accompanied by her son, Andrew, 11, who has autism, at their home in Orange, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. Ashline says, “We take steps at home, locks on every door, gates, alarms but there’s always, in the forefront of our minds, the thought that one tiny mistake could prove fatal.” The phenomenon goes by various names – wandering, elopement, bolting – and about half of autistic children are prone to it, according to research published in 2012 in the journal Pediatrics.
For additional information: http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Deaths-of-wandering-autistic-kids-prompt-action-4723944.php#photo-5029374
My brother, Michael, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, had a fascination with water. He constantly played in the bathroom sink. Well any sink, bathtub, etc. He would also move to the wind and trees, for hours at a time. Both were a constant, even after re-directed numerous times.
Wandering was scary or should I say, stressful to the least and, in addition to his hyperactivity, made my childhood an adventure! As a matter of fact, my mom gave me Mike’s medicine so I could sleep; school comes pretty early. Mike’s medicine had the reverse effect on him; it gave him more energy, and there is nothing good coming out of that!
Install locking devices at the tops of doors leading outside and into your basement. Windows should be checked, too. It is amazing how resourceful Mike was, or should I say, still is as he has gotten older.
I have been Mike’s guardian for just about twenty-six years now, and he resides in a group home setting. He still watches his soap operas, Yale football games and of course the New York Giants (thanks to his Uncle Tony). He is also the best predictor of weather I have ever known (he would put our weather personnel to shame).
Good luck to all blessed with a child who has Autism or any of the syndromes that fall under the umbrella. Mike truly has a kind soul, which is free of hatred, judgment or agendas. He is happy in his rigid world (lol). Maybe we “normal (who determines what is normal)” individuals could take a lesson from Mike. Just sayin’…