Resident Psychiatrist and Research Assistant, Emory & Marcus Autism Centers
With 1 in 88 children in the United States having autism, an increasing number of parents and caregivers face the challenges of caring for an autistic child. One of the most difficult areas is dealing with a child who repeatedly wanders away. This can be particularly dangerous for children with autism, as they may have little understanding of their own safety and have a limited ability to communicate to others for help.
Close to half of children with autism have attempted to wander away from a safe situation, and many parents report "near misses" that could have easily resulted in their child drowning or being injured by a vehicle. Sadly, injuries to children with autism are all too common.
In this post, I'll share several ways to help keep your child with autism safe when dealing with wandering behavior.
Understand what causes your child to wander away
Talk to the school and local police
Parents often worry about what could happen to their child when they are asleep. This may be a bigger problem if their child is staying awake during the night. Decreasing the amount of caffeine your child drinks can help. Setting a sleep routine and avoiding daytime napping may also be useful. Sleeping disorders are common among children with autism. If your child's sleep continues to be a problem, talk to your family doctor or see a specialist.Tweet