You hear the stories on the news about children with autism wandering away from their house. I’m sure there are some out there while hearing these stories who wonder how a parent/caregiver can let that happen.
I can now tell you from experience that when your child is what you call an eloper or a flight risk, it doesn’t take much for the stories on the news to become a reality some day.
First, I should say that Courtney is home safe and sound and wasn’t actually missing for long at all. It did not happen on my watch but how it happened could have happened with any one. But because it didn’t happen on my watch I’m not going to go into details of how it happened. But I will share that the police were called pretty quickly. Fortunately she was found 4 doors down before they even arrived. So a shout out to this caregiver for handling it the best she could. Not sure I could have handled it as well.
I also want to give a shout out to my city’s police department. Because Courtney is an eloper I’ve always wondered what additional precautions I should take not only with “Courtney proofing” the house but with alerting the police department but I never did more than wonder with the later. I know longer have to wonder. The positive part of today’s incident is we learned about two amazing programs.
The first program is the police provide the child with a tracking device. It’s a transponder that can be worn on the wrist or ankle. When a child goes missing, when you call the police they will show up with a device that sends off signals to the transponder and then in returns shows them the location of where the child is.
The second program is called “Caring Hands”. This program is with both the police and fire department. They put on file a picture of the child along with details about the child including different suggestions on how they can help the child if they are in distress or things to avoid doing so they don’t set them off more.
As much I will hope We will be making use of this will never happen again, this is our autism. This is our reality. Therefore we will be taking advantage of both of these programs. I am so grateful that there are programs out there to help keep Courtney and others like her safe.