Autistic Wandering Is No Joke
April 1, 2014

Autistic Wandering Is No Joke

Every year, almost half of all children with autism attempt to escape, or elope, from a safe environment. Too many of them never make it home.

Today, April 1, 2014, we pause to remember those we have lost to wandering.

From the Facebook event description:

“This event is a virtual candlelight vigil to remember and respect the lives of autistic children who have died after an elopement.

The Kennedy Krieger Institute reported in a 2011 study that up to 48% of all children with autism will engage in wandering behavior or “elopement,” which is defined as the tendency to leave a non life threatening space and enter into a potentially dangerous one, and is a rate 4 times higher than their neurotypical siblings.

The Krieger Institute also reported that “35% of families with children who elope report their children are “never” or “rarely” able to communicate their name, address, or phone number by any means.”

In 2012, the National Autism Association reported that “accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with an ASD ages 14 and younger subsequent to wandering/elopement.”

This vigil is being organized to spread awareness of the very real issue of wandering behavior in autistic children and the unspeakable tragedies that can, and have occurred as a result.

Please join us in respectful remembrance of the children who have died.

For additional resources check the website:

Or find them on Facebook: NAA Autism & Safety: Wandering Prevention

This is by no means a comprehensive list of every child and individual lost to wandering, but it is entirely too long already. Please, do your part to help make sure we don’t have to add more names next year.

Kaitlin Bacile

Au-Juna Banks-Taylor, age 9

Ryan Barrett

Christian Baucom, age 6

Jason Baucom

Adam Benhamama

Owen Black, age 7

Aiden Bower, age 4

Ashley Brock

Noah Burke

Carolyne Burns

Dena Burns, age 6

John Burton Jr., age 7

Colum Canning

Kaymania Catt, age 5

Alex Christopher, 6/3/05

Zachary Clark

Jeremiah Conn, age 6

Holden Cottingham, 2013

Taariq Cross, age 7

Christian Dejons

James Delorey

David DeSantiago, age 11

Devonte Dye, age 5

Tatiana Eiland-Clinton, age 3

Devine Farrier

Justin Gore, Jr.

Darryl Gosein

Anthony Guerra, age 9

Tristian Guffey

Liam Hamilton, age 7

Elizabeth Hathaway, age 10

Savannah Hauser

Benjy Heil

Jack Hensley

Emily Hope

Drew Howell, age 2

Tristin Jeras, 7/26/12

Aiden Johnson

Marquail Johnson, age 8

Jackson Kastner, age 4

Kesia Kearse

Nathan Kinderdine

Michael Kingsbury, age 7

Adlai Kugblenu

Anthony Kuznia, age 11

Bernard Latimore

Aiden Lawson, age 3

Kieran le Couteur

Erik Lippmann

Alexie Loper, age 4

Mikaela Lynch, 5/15/13

Charlie Manley, age 16

Savannah Martin, 2/20/11

Donivan Martin, age 16

Savannah Martin, age 7

Jason McGuire

Mason Medlam

Logan Mitcheltree

Christopher Morrison, age 5

Blake Murrell, age 4

Alyvia Navarro, age 3

Avonte Oquendo, age 14

Dominic Overton

Ariana Pivacheck, age 9

Evan Reed, 2012

Hannah Ross, age 7

Blake Ryan, 4/19/11, age 4

Christina Sankey, age 29

Luke Selwyn

Nicholas Shaffer, age 12

Kaleb Shavers, age 6

Kadeem Shillingford, age 15

Jonah Smith

Julian Stacey, New Zealand

Travis Stratton, 3/1/14, age 4

Kaliya Sullivan

Sean Taglione, 1/29/12, age 12

Desmond Thomas

Kristina Vlassenko, age 10

Christopher Wakeman, age 23

Amarie Walker, age 4

Skylar Wayne

Freddie Williams, age 13

Davin Williams, age 15

NNR, age 5, Bradenton, FL

NNR, age 11, Stafford, VA

NNR, age 12, Houston, TX

Image Credit: Candlelight Vigil for Autistic Children Who Lost Their Lives After Wandering via Facebook

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