Wednesday – January 29 – On the heels of the disappearance and death of Avonte Oquendo, Senator Charles Schumer announced federal funding was approved to cover the costs of voluntary tracking devices for children with autism. Avonte’s disappearance from his Queens school on Oct. 4 triggered a massive search.
Sen. Schumer, an advocate for autism awareness, pushed for legislation to provide GPS tracking devices for children with autism and other conditions. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has agreed to use existing grant funds to pay for the voluntary devices. The initiative would provide funds to police departments & law enforcement, interested parents, schools and legal guardians.
“Bolting,” running, or wandering is common among children and teens with Autism. This is technically called elopement, which is the tendency to leave a safe place. Children and teens who exhibit this behavior tend to be at the severe end of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Schumer noted that these devices should be used in conjunction with other educational and behavior supports.
At the time of this blog post we have been following up with Senator Schumer’s office regarding funding and the program. Additional details forthcoming.
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