Safety Concerns in Children and Adults with Autism – The Autism Exchange

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<!—Daily Living / Safety —> Safety Concerns in Children and Adults with Autism – The Autism Exchange

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Safety is an ongoing concern for children and adults with Autism.  Most people with autism have a difficult time communicating, understanding and identifying dangerous situations.  Common behaviors like wandering from his or her home or other settings also increases their risk of encountering dangerous situations.  (Note: Elopement is another term used to describe autism wandering.)  Safety also includes situations where a child explores dangerous places at home like gas stove knobs, unbuckling seat belts, or encountering a neighbor’s swimming pool.  Communities are trying to build resources to help families and community members, like first responders, to connect and share important information that may help save a life.  In addition, GPS tracking and locating devices are now available for parents to prevent losing their children.

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Related Sites

National Autism Association
Description:  This site provides safety information on wandering, restraint/seclusion, and bullying. It also provides information and safety forms that can be download.

AWAARE Collaboration
Description:  This site is dedicated to helping and providing information specifically about Autism safety. It gives background to the dangers of wondering and information and tools for First Responders, doctors, school administrators.


Be Careful and Stay Safe (Learning to Get Along®) by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed.
Description:  Created with little ones in mind, this book is a helpful aid for demonstrating how to stay away from danger. Steps for following directions, seeking help, and being cautious are addressed.

Online Safety for Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrum: A Parent’s and Carer’s Guide by Nicola Lonie
Description:  This guide is extremely valuable for parents of children, teens, and young adults with autism who are concerned with on-line safety. Providing an education in protection from internet obsession, cyberbullying, computer hacking, and inappropriate social networking, this book is an absolute necessity for parents to regulate and facilitate their child’s computer time. Also, included is a dictionary for decoding slang as well as forms that can be downloaded to monitor internet use.


Family Wandering Emergency Plan
Description:  This is a printable “Family Wandering Emergency Plan” from AWAARE Collaboration. It will help prepare you and your family before dangerous situations happen and it helps every family member learn what to do and who to contact.

Safety in the Home
Description:  In this article, the Autism Society talks about Safety in the home. It gives tips to prevent injury and wandering, ways to help your child with every day items, and ways to teach your child about safety.

Parent Forums/Blogs

Some forums require you to sign in to Yahoo or Facebook to locate forum names.

Forum/Blog Name:  Think Safety
Description:  This forum covers the topics of childhood, adolescent as well as adulthood safety of individuals with autism.

Forum/Blog Name:  NAA Autism & Safety: Bullying Prevention
Description:  Mission to raise awareness concerning autism and bullying.

Consumer Corner

Seat Belt Buckle Guard by eSpecial Needs
Description:  Prevents children from unbuckling their seat belt while in the car. Works on most cars.

Description:  This product provides an out of range alarm.

Community Library

The Wallet Card Project
Description:  The wallet card allows police officers to better communicate with people with ASD. It’s a free personalized identification card for teenagers and adults who have ASD and is designed to help them communicate with officers or first responders about their disability and some of the challenges they face.

Study Confirms: Autism Wandering Common & Scary
Description:  An article detailing a study concerning autism wandering affecting nearly 50 percent of autism families.

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