Protecting Your ASD Child

In local news, a nine-year-old boy in Brooklyn had asked to walk home from day camp for the first time, and his mother was waiting for him two blocks from camp. Somewhere on those two blocks, he was abducted. Police and the entire Hasidic community of Borough Park spent two days searching for him.

His dismembered remains were found. If you want the gruesome details, read this article – it’s too upsetting for me to repeat.

My thoughts, of course, are with little Leiby Kletzky’s family. I can’t imagine how one goes on with her life after such a tragedy.

The media are reporting that Leiby had autism. This makes me wonder if autism made him more susceptible to abduction. Was he less able than a typical child to sense that the assailant he encountered was dangerous because of his social deficits? Was he more trusting? Did he get distracted on his way home?

Kids with autism are prone to wandering off (they call this “elopement” but it’s not very romantic) and often have a limited sense of danger, so abduction is a very real concern. There are special techniques to teach ASD children how to handle stranger danger, but I’m not sure who offers this training.

Here are some resources worth looking into to protect your ASD child:

About.com’s tips to reduce the danger to your child.
ID jewelery (though I can’t imagine my kid actually keeping an ID bracelet on.)
– Personal tracking devices: see eSpecialNeeds, Amber Alert GPS, or Care Trak.
Project Lifesaver‘s tracking system and training for first responders

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If you have any extra tips or suggestions to protect your child – please leave a comment.

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Project Lifesaver International
Project Lifesaver is a nonprofit organization that helps rapidly locate individuals with cognitive conditions who wander. For more information please visit: ProjectLifesaverInternational.org
Project Lifesaver International

Project Lifesaver International

Project Lifesaver is a nonprofit organization that helps rapidly locate individuals with cognitive conditions who wander. For more information please visit: ProjectLifesaverInternational.org

0 thoughts on “Protecting Your ASD Child

  • July 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm
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    It’s sad but true that in this day and age you just cannot let your children live in a world where they sense no danger. I tell my children that “people out there will steal them, hurt their bodies, and kill them and that I will never be able to see them again”. I make it absolutely clear that they never go anywhere alone, never go with a stranger and never get in someone’s car. I only hope they can remember my warnings if the situation warrants. So, so sad about this little boy, Leiby. I have cried for him and his family. Do we have to scare our children to keep them safe? Teach them what a psychopath is? I believe we do.

    Reply
  • July 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm
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    Since this was originally posted 7/14, I’ve learned the distance was 7 blocks, not 2 blocks. Just updating for the record.

    Reply

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