Guest post by Jacob Gutnicki
It seems there is a story almost on a daily basis about a missing child. This is not surprising as the National Crime Information Center statistics in 2014 show that there were 466,949 entries for missing children under the age of 18. These statistics, along with the following statistics on child danger, are unsettling:
- Roughly half of children with an (Autism Spectrum Disorder) ASD attempt to elope from a safe environment; a rate nearly four times higher than their unaffected siblings.
- Two in three parents of elopers reported their missing children had a “close call” with a traffic injury.
- 32% of parents reported a “close call” with a possible drowning.
- Half of families with elopers report they had never received advice or guidance about elopement from a professional.
The last bullet is particularly disconcerting as it means the parents who are most susceptible to this problem are the least prepared for dealing with the challenges of a wandering child. Fortunately, there are many technology-based resources that can help parents and schools who care for wandering children. With this in mind, I have prepared 10 resources followed by 10 tips that can support parents and schools keep wandering children safe.