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Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

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Milestones Autism Resources Responds to Death of Wandering Strongsville Child with Autism

Posted August 02, 2019 in Press Releases

Milestones is saddened to hear of the passing of Aria Kalinich, a young girl with autism who tragically drowned after wandering into a neighbor’s pool yesterday afternoon. Our hearts go out to Aria’s family and the community of Strongsville, OH.

Wandering, or elopement, is a serious safety issue that affects many individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Aria’s mother Jessica Baksi said despite the family installing locks, bars and other security measures, the 3-year-old had a history of climbing out of windows and slipping out of the house.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some primary reasons for wandering include:
- enjoyment of running or exploring
- to get to a place he or she enjoys
- to get out of a situation that causes stress
- to go see something interesting

If you have a loved one, client or student who elopes and are seeking support, Milestones encourages you to explore the following resources:
- Big Red Safety Box: The National Autism Association is currently accepting applications for their very popular, free Big Red Safety Box - the box includes 2 GE wireless door or window alarms with batteries, a Medicalert pendant, bracket or shoe tag, safety alert window clings for homes and cars, and much more.
- Organization for Autism Research’s Guide to Safety – a free guide written by parents, first responders, educators, and community members with strategies to address safety threats that commonly arise during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
- Your local County Board of Developmental Disabilities – your Board of DD may be able to assist you in obtaining safety tools to create a more secure environment at home.

To receive help locating your County Board of Developmental Disabilities or get connected with other safety resources, please contact Milestones Autism Resources at 216.464.7600 ext. 200 or info@milestones.org.

Full article on the developing story here.

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