For many parents of children with autism, the case of the 4-year old child who entered into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati zoo may have sounded a bit familiar. No, not many kids wander into situations of moral peril on a daily basis. However, many children with autism tend to wander away from their parents pretty frequently. It’s really hard to keep a constant watch on your child. After all, they are curious about the world and may do uncontrollable things (like wander off to who knows where). This is a scary situation for any parent. That’s why making sure to take certain precautions to stay on the safer side is important for any parent of children with autism.
No parent wants to lose their child. If your child also happens to have autism, this sort of situation may seem even scarier. Here are a few tips for preventing wandering in children with autism:
- Know your child’s triggers: Often, children with autism wander because they are trying to get away from something, whether that be a loud noise or something else that makes them feel uncomfortable. Take note of what is causing your child to wander.
- Be aware of what kind of wandering is occurring: Does your child wander because they want to achieve some goal (i.e. get away from some trigger), or is it usually random? From there, you can come up with a plan to prevent future wandering.
- Work on triggering behaviors at home: Teach your child calming techniques when they run into something that triggers their wandering behavior.
- Educate people closest to your child: Let the people who are constantly around your child (neighbors, friends, family, teachers, bus drivers, etc.) know what triggers your child’s wandering habits. This way, they can keep an eye on your child when you can’t possibly be aware of your child’s activities (at school, at a friend’s house, etc.)
Seven Stars can help
If you have a child with autism who is struggling socially, behaviorally, and academically consider Seven Stars for help. Seven Stars is a therapeutic program for teens ages 13-17 struggling with neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD and ADHD. For more information about Seven Stars, please call 844-601-1167 today.