Go from Constant Worry and Fear to Having Peace of Mind When it Comes To Your Loved Ones That Wander
As autism parents, we know that worry and fear can be our constant companions; especially if our loved ones wander.
My son has been wandering since he could walk.
When he was 18 months old, I was in the far bedroom of my ranch house folding laundry while he was playing on the floor. I picked up the next item from my basket and he got up and left the room. I folded the jeans and my special needs mom “Spidey senses” started activating… I thought, “I should go see where he is.”
In the time it took me to fold that pair of jeans, he had found my keys, retrieved them from a high place, figured out which one went to the car and was playing in the trunk of my car in the driveway.
Another time, when he was in first grade, I was only permitted to walk him halfway to his classroom, as the teachers felt I was being too much of a “helicopter mom” and needed to foster his independence after Kindergarten. Never mind that it was in his IEP to walk him to class, but that’s another story for another day. So I used to walk him halfway to class and do his sensory exercises in the hallway with him. Then he would go to class and I would get in my car, hit the interstate and head to work.
One day, I needed to go back to the house for something I had forgotten and then I had to get gas, so I had to pass the school again. I walked him halfway to class like every other day, did his sensory exercises with him and said goodbye. Then I went to my house to retrieve the forgotten item. During that time the school bell had rung, indicating the school day was starting. Soon after, I passed the school again to go to the gas station.
Lo and behold, who is walking down the main road but my son! After we said our goodbyes he must have seen something shiny and walked right out the other double doors! Get this – the teachers thought he was absent and had no idea there was a problem!
What would have happened if I didn’t need gas and went straight to work??
Yet another time, my son was playing with the hose in the front yard. Wearing no shirt or shoes, he didn’t have a care in the world. He loves water. I had just checked on him through the kitchen window and he was fine. Less than two minutes later, his sister went outside and they got into a small scuffle. She told him to “get lost.”
People with autism are very literal. That’s exactly what he did.
In less than two minutes he was GONE.
I activated 911 and had the whole block searching for him. 3-1/2 hours later he was found several blocks away under a bush. I shook him and hugged him and asked what on earth he was thinking! He only replied, “My sister said get lost.”
My son, 13, is now seven inches taller than me, has a mustache and wears men’s clothing size large. While he wanders more “online” these days than out of the house, it is still challenging to keep him safe, especially if we go to public events and gatherings.
I have multiple stories from my own experience. As an emergency responder, I’ve been tasked to find missing children at festivals and other events. Even if a child (or adult!) is verbal, under the duress of an emergency they may not be able to communicate their needs.
That’s where If I Need Help comes in.
My son’s free membership and unique, affordable QR code products I purchased have saved our bacon many times. When we go to an event he wears his patch or ID tag with his unique code.
I march right up to the police or first aid tent, introduce my son, show them his code and say, “If you see him WITHOUT me at any time, scan him with your smartphone! His profile will come up with all of his special needs and my contact information.”
As an autism parent AND someone who has spent the last several years providing custom autism training for emergency responders, I know how fast a situation can change from safe to terrifying. Even when first responders are trained, they still need vital information to help find or provide care for our loved ones that may not be able to communicate.
I am thrilled and honored to be working with If I Need Help and their unique membership database and affordable safety products.
- Become a free member
- Create a profile, this can be changed in real time when needed
- Have special person wear or carry the iD patch, pins, clips, iD cards, shoe tags, or other iD products
- When lost, the code can be scanned by a smartphone/tablet or the number associated with the code can be entered manually into the home page of If I Need Help to access the contact information
- In a situation the profile can emailed to you and forwarded to searchers
- Password protected secure site can be used to keep important personal information
Just Released! Custom Window Clings and Bumper Stickers!
Anyone in their 40s like me must remember the old stickers that we placed on children’s bedrooms so firefighters would identify and rescue them first. These new alert signs are awesome and customizable for all special needs!
See the whole collection – click here
What is peace of mind worth to you?
The price of a patch or ID tag?
IF I NEED HELP is a 501(C)(3) NON PROFIT, EIN# 46-5166303
Organizations, ask about our special bulk pricing!
Do you want to spread the word and help others stay safe? Email me to learn more about our associate program!