There are mounting concerns for parents with children with autism over slipping standards of supervision, which could end in tragedy. As children with autism often lack a natural sense of danger it is vital they are not left to wander outside of supervised zones.
On Monday 6th February a Long Island mother, Crystal Feldt, was horrified to discover that her 6-year-old son Sean who has autism had been left on the school bus once all other students had gotten off. The bus driver and an aide are both responsible for checking that all children are off the bus but neither noticed the sleeping Sean. The bus driver was subsequently fired.
This is reminiscent of a previous incident where a 4-year-old Indianapolis boy with autism was left unattended for over two hours on a school bus. He had fallen asleep and was not discovered, as the driver allegedly didn’t check the rows before exiting the bus.
On the 27th of January an Oklahoma family was very relieved 6-year-old Trevor, who has autism, was unharmed after wandering away from Oakridge Elementary School. Trevor eventually made his way home, at which point the family contacted the school, who were unaware of Trevor’s disappearance.
While the families in these incidences were lucky to have the safe return of the children involved, that is not always the case. Growing concern over children with autism being left unsupervised has resulted in a burgeoning market of services to help locate children with autism using GPS systems and collaboration with emergency services.