Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Eloping and Autism: How to get a free safety kit for your ASD kid (or share with a family you love)

Wandering, elopement, running-off.... whatever you want to call it, it's scary.  For autism families, a child wandering away from the parent is not only scary, it's deadly.  It's not that we don't pay attention to our kids, we do... it's just that they are CONSTANTLY wandering and lack the capacity to understand fear/danger.  Kids with autism wander for many reasons (get away from sounds, find a sensory stimulus (water), or just plain curiosity).  The problem is, many of these kids are either non-verbal or non-responsive to strangers.  When I see an alert in the news regarding a missing ASD kiddo, I actually have a hard time watching it.... I can just visualize my sweet Bella in the situation and frankly the thought of her missing for even a second, is too much to bare:(

Did you know that wandering (or "elopement) is now the LEADING CAUSE of death for children on the autism spectrum.  With recent news of children, much like our sweet Bella, wandering and being found dead in surrounding bodies of water I was prompted to "do something".  My sweet mom found an emergency tool kit called the Big Red Safety Box that is offered by the National Autism Association.  This tool kit (which is outlined below) can be ordered  by ASD families (free of charge) and used in case of elopement.  Please read below and order one, autism moms and dads!  OR If you know a family who has a child/teen/adult with ASD, pass this along.  I can't resist in sharing something that could save a life!

Here's how to apply:Apply Here (only direct family can apply)

* I copied all of this information from the National Autism Association website
NAA’s Big Red Safety Box includes the following resources:
1) Our Get REDy booklet containing the following educational materials and tools:
    •  A caregiver checklist
    •  A Family Wandering Emergency Plan
    •  A first-responder profile form
    •  A wandering-prevention brochure
    •  A sample IEP Letter
2) Two (2) Door/Window Alarms with batteries
3) One (1) RoadID Personalized, Engraved Shoe ID Tag*
4) Five (5) Laminated Adhesive Stop Sign Visual Prompts for doors and windows
5) Two (2) Safety Alert Window Clings for car or home windows
6) One (1) Red Safety Alert Wristband

*You will receive instructions to submit a custom personalization order online at Your tag will be quickly engraved with your emergency information and mailed to you at no charge.

Regardless of any tools caregivers may have in place, if a loved one’s medical condition interferes with their ability to recognize danger or stay safe, it is critical that caregivers maintain close supervision and security in all settings. For more information and ways to prevent wandering-related incidents, please visit  

Those diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and who are at risk of wandering/bolting from a safe environment, qualify to receive a Big Red Safety Box while supplies allow. Limit One (1) box per family. Recipients must agree to terms and conditions. Please allow two to three weeks for your Big Red Safety Box request to be processed.
NAA’s Big Red Safety Boxes are packaged and shipped with care by a company employing adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.  (LOVE THIS)

I (Annie) am planning on getting local law enforcement involved in my hometown.  I'm sure they have training programs but, with the amount of autism/PDD families here in my city, you can never be too safe!  NAA offers a kit for law enforcement if you want to share it with them in your area: LAW ENFORCEMENT KIT

If you do not have a child with autism but wish to donate to this amazing cause (to help NAA fund the kits for families like ours) visit: This link