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Wandering & Elopement

If you’re caring for someone who elopes (an act or instance of leaving a safe area or safe premises), then you know how terrifying and exhausting it can be trying to track their every movement. Here are some resources and strategies that can help.

PFA Tips: When They Wander or Run Away

When They Wander or Run Away – recorded webinar by Officer Laurie Reyes and Shelly McLaughlin

The Autism Mom MD Podcast: Episode #18 – Wandering and Elopement, with Shelly McLaughlin and Officer Laurie Reyes

PFA Tips: Wandering and Elopement at School

Community/Neighbor Alert Form
This is a letter that can be filled out by families and handed out to neighbors to help make them aware that an individual may elope and to be on the look-out.

Visit the Pathfinders for Autism provider database and choose the “Safety” category.

PFA Zoomcast Interview by Rob Long: Officer Laurie Reyes
Officer Laurie Reyes discusses the dangers of wandering and elopement, the risks of drowning due to elopement, and what parents and caregivers can do to help keep their loved ones safe.

AWAARE Collaboration
The Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response and Education (AWAARE) Collaboration is a working group of six national non-profit autism organizationswhose mission is to prevent autism-related wandering incidents and deaths.

PSA from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Stop, Seek, Stay. Know what to do if you see a child with autism wandering.

FBI Child ID App for your mobile phone (Also available on iTunes)

Wandering Prevention Tips infograph from the National Autism Association

Autism and Wandering Video from the National Autism Association

“Wandering Off: Elopement” from the American Academy of Pediatrics

Big Red Safety Box educational materials and tools from the National Autism Association
*Pease note that Big Red Safety Boxes are not always available. Notices are sent out via social media when they become available again, or you can check back with the website.

AWAARE First Responder Form
This is an Autism Elopement Alert Form. Families are encouraged to fill out this form, during a non-crisis time, so they have current information about their loved one to provide to law enforcement if the person goes missing.

12 Ways to Prevent, and Respond to, ASD Wandering

Wandering Prevention Toolkit for Caregivers from the National Autism Association

Wandering Prevention Toolkit for Teachers from the National Autism Association

About Autism Wandering / Elopement
Definitions and information on the new medical diagnosis code.

Plan Your Response to an Autism Emergency

Learn more about Safety:

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