As the search for a missing autistic child continues in New York City, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is proposing a tracking initiative that could help to prevent similar stories from happening across the country. Schumer has requested that the Department of Justice begin funding voluntary programs that would give tracking devices to schools and caretakers who ask for them. The tracking devices might be worn around the wrist or ankle or looped between shoelaces, and would allow local law enforcement to locate autistic children who have run away.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Schumer points out that the DOJ has previously funded similar programs aimed at offering tracking devices for individuals with Alzheimer’s. Children and teens with autism, he says, are just as at risk of becoming lost. “Unfortunately, this is not uncommon among children with [autism spectrum disorders],” Schumer writes, noting that a study by the Interactive Autism Network and AWAARE found that nearly half of all children with autism will run or wander off at least once.
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