Join CafeMom Today! Autism Amber Alert: Autism with a history of wandering
AMBER Alerts are distributed via commercial radio stations, satellite radio, television stations, and cable TV by the Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radio for child abductions only! Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder are NOT included in the criteria for issuing an Amber Alert. This really needs to change.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Autism with a history of wandering

Advocates want 'autistic wandering' to be its own diagnosis

"Go to Disney. Go to Disney. Go to Disney." Ethan Bunkelmann is a 6-year-old Houdini who will bolt his North Palm Beach home on any number of whims. "Go to Target. Go to Target. Go to Target."

He will unbolt locks and prop up chairs to reach the highest door chain. He will ignore door alarms and slip a parent's watchful eye. He will not respond to people searching for him. He may even try to hurt himself or a potential "rescuer" if stopped.

Ethan Bunkelmann is an autistic boy with a history of wandering. And some of the biggest national organizations that advocate for and promote research of autism, a complex neurobiological disorder, are making a push for "Autism with a history of wandering" to become its own medical diagnosis.

As National Autism Awareness Month begins, they hope a few numbers and letters in the bible of medicine will bring attention to the problem and make solutions, such as electronic tracking devices, more affordable for the families.

Perhaps it will even curb the stunning death toll wandering wreaks among children already diagnosed as autistic.

They point to what they already know: The death rate among the autism population is higher than the general population -- perhaps twice as high, according to a Danish study in 2008. And much of that elevated death rate can be attributed to the wanderers drowning in ponds, lakes and neighbors' pools .

Read more at:,0,7166600.story

No comments:

Post a Comment