I just heard the news about young Owen Black, who had been missing since Friday, that he had been found dead in waters off Perdido Key.  My heart breaks for this family.  But this comes so recently on the heels of the news of Mikaela Lynch who also sadly drowned, in California.  My heart breaks for her family as well.  I ask if you could keep these families in your prayers as they are mourning the loss of their precious gifts… their children.

I can’t speak enough about autism and wandering, and the dangers that revolve around this.  I recently shared a blog post – Wandering and Autism: The Scary Reality – and I invite you to read it, and learn a little more about this very serious issue that we, as parents, have on our hands.

This is my biggest fear!  Hands down!  Too many people that I speak with, when my son is not in my care, DON’T take me seriously when I talk about him being a flight risk.  Many seem to think that parents who share these stories are over-protective, hovering parents that won’t let their children out of their sight… that won’t let them grow up!  Well, you know what?  I’d like to see my son grow up which is why I can’t let him out of my sight – at least not for long.  I even sleep with one eye open!!  However, truthfully, I am thankful that we have never had an issue that happens at night, and I hope we never do!  My friends, you have the right… you have the ability… to speak for your children to ensure they are safe.  Please, don’t let someone take that right away from you!  Make sure your concerns are heard!

My son used to sleep with me while hubby was at work.  Do you think that I’d turn down the opportunity to ensure that I knew that he was beside me and he was safe.  Some of you might think that is strange, but I invite you to walk in the shoes of a parent with a child that wanders… or that is a runner.  It’s a reality that I wouldn’t wish on anyone and it’s one of the only things that truly scares me about my son’s autism.

Parents, if you have a child that exhibits elopement or wandering behaviours, don’t take it lightly.  Don’t let anyone else tell you that you don’t need to worry about it.  Do you need to be paranoid?  I don’t think so, but I do think that you need to be prepared, aware and educated.

Do what you need to do to ensure your child is safe!

I invite you to check out some of these websites for more information on wandering, autism and autism risk management.

AWAARE.org

National Autism Association

Autism Risk Management