Before having our children, I thought eloping was running off to get married
without the trappings of conventional marriage; in Scotland, where I am
from, couples would travel to Gretna Green to get married. In the 18 th
century it became a haven for young lovers following the 1754 Marriage
Act; if you were under 21, you were forbidden to marry without your
Today it means something very different to me and many others in a similar
situation; 49% of children with autism wander from supervised, safe places.
Of those locations, 74% wander from their homes and 29% wander from
school or the classroom despite everyone’s best efforts.
The horror and shock of not be able to find your child in your home is gut
wrenching and very frightening. Not to mention the guilt that accompanies
all of this. Unfortunately, we have experienced this three times which is
three times too many. We now have more locks to keep our children in the
house as opposed to keep strangers out.
This begs a question: what can we at NNF do to help? Can we identify
technology that uses GPS trackers, or even tattoos with name and phone
number? Is there technology that improves your child’s communication
skills so that they may effectively convey their wants and needs? Perhaps,
an app that registers your child with your local law enforcement agency –
some towns have a take me home program? What about an app that has
sharable information say a recent photo and description of allergies, family
contact information etc?
This is an area ripe for technological solutions and it is an area that we will
look into because the need is great and no parent or child should have to
go through this horror.