In the wake of the tragic events that took place in California, Florida and Ohio in the last week, we’d like to express our heartfelt condolences to the families of Mikaela Lynch, Owen Black and Drew Howell, and also offer thanks to the searchers. Unfortunately, wandering-related tragedies are far too common in the autism community. In a 2012 study funded by Autism Speaks through our support of the Interactive Autism Network (IAN), nearly half of parents surveyed reported that a child with ASD had attempted to wander or run away at least once after age 4.
Autism Speaks is proud to be part of the Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response and Education (AWAARE) Collaboration, a working group of six national non-profit autism organizations whose mission is to prevent autism-related wandering incidents and deaths. The AWAARE
website contains a variety of resources, tips and tools for families of individuals with autism as well as first responders, including tool kits and an autism-wandering prevention brochure. The Autism Speaks Autism Safety Project
also provides resources designed to help keep you and your family safe both at home and in the community.