Posted August 12, 2019 in Press Releases
Milestones is saddened to hear of the passing of 8-year-old Mathew Converse, a boy with autism whose body was recently found in a nearby body of water after being reported as missing. Our hearts go out to Mathew’s family and the community of Lima today.
With this being the second wandering-related death of a local child with autism in the past month, Milestones wants to again stress how common and serious of a safety issue elopement can be. Wandering, or eloping affects many individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Deputies involved in Mathew’s case recently reported that Mathew had a history of being drawn to water, trains and parks.
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 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 – If you are eligible, your Board of DD has resources to help families with safety tools and equipment for your 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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