GPS Tracker adds a layer of safety.
In the Autism community, “Elopement,” is a term given to the action of a person leaving a safe area without notice or permission. When an autistic individual elopes, they many times will put themselves in a very dangerous position, and in many cases unfortunately, this elopement leads to their premature death. Non-verbal individuals are in even greater danger since they cannot communicate any information about themselves that would give authorities a way to help them locate their families.
In October of 2013, Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year-old autistic boy, disappeared, thus starting a citywide search that ended in tragedy when his remains were found months later. His death brought on awareness of the dangers involved in autistic elopement. This heightened awareness birthed “Avonte’s Law” which employs the assistance of GPS tracker devices given to the families of autistic children. If Avonte’s family had access to a GPS tracker, they would have been able to located him before he entered harms way.
Consistency is important to a child with autism, therefore, a GPS tracker device can, in theory, be installed in virtually anything; inside that armband they refuse to remove, their favorite t-shirt, etc. A GPS tracker keeps these children on surveillance at all times, and will monitor their movements so even if they elope, they are not far from their safe return.
We know the good what GPS trackers can do in the commercial world, so to think about that same technology saving the lives of autistic children everywhere is exciting. Just as we use geofences to secure our vehicles and equipment from theft, that same GPS tracking technology can alert parents and caregivers should a child elope from a certain location.
With GPS a tracker, the possibilities are endless and while they will not bring Avonte back, the newly raised awareness means that his short life still carries so much meaning. He will remain the pioneer who paved the way to saving many other lives in the Autistic Community.