Children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders) more frequently attempt to leave an assigned area without consent. Engaging in this “elopement behavior” puts a substantial number of kids at risk for bodily harm every year. Many schools have spoken out about the need to develop interventions which reduce the risk of elopement while supporting families coping with this issue. Schools face a significant burden to train child care professionals, educators, and even first responders who are often involved when such student elopements occur.
“Most ASD diagnosed children wander or elope from home but school is the second most common setting for ASD elopements. Of 383 cases during the period 2011 – 2016 studied by the National Autism Association, 19% of them occurred from a home setting, while 81 cases (5%) occurred from school or on the way to school; four of these cases, resulted in fatal outcomes. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) conducted a similar study of missing child cases reported to NCMEC between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2016. Their data shows 952 children with autism were reported missing to NCMEC during the period and 10% of those were missing from school.”
Read the full blog post from Overwatch Risk Solutions earlier this year HERE.