The Autism Safety Coalition includes: Autism Society, Autism Speaks, The Color of Autism Foundation, the National Autism Association, Safeminds, and The Arc.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Autism Safety Coalition (ASC) announced today its support of S. 2614, Kevin and Avonte’s Law of 2016, to address wandering incidents and fatalities in children with developmental disabilities. Introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), the bipartisan bill would ensure that grants from the U.S. Department of Justice can be used by state and local law enforcement agencies and nonprofits for education and training programs to proactively prevent and locate missing individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Because police often are the first people to respond when a child goes missing, the bill also will make resources available to equip first responders and other community officials with the training necessary to better prevent and respond to these cases.
Wandering behaviors are considered common and short-lived in toddlers, but may persist or re-emerge in individuals with disabilities. A 2015 study found that 27% of children with developmental disabilities are reported to wander (or “elope”) from safe settings each year. In 2015, 31 individuals with autism died after wandering away from a safe setting.
Read more about Kevin and Avonte's Law here
If you want to advocate for safety and wandering legislation, be sure to sign up for autism votes here.