IMG_9720Autism now affects 1 in 68 individuals (1 in 50 students), and almost half are prone to wandering away from a safe environment such as school or home.  Individuals with autism are often attracted to water, yet have little to no sense of danger.  Drowning is a leading cause of death in children with autism.

Here are six important tips to help improve response time and prevent fatalities:

  1. Have readily available information about an individual withautism
  2. Use technology tools, such as tracking devices and Reverse 911
  3. Use Alert Systems, such as Endangered Missing Advisories (EMAs)
  4. Train on how to properly interact with a person who has autism
  5. Listen to the caregiver for clues – they know the child best
  6. Always search nearby water first

Download the FIRST RESPONDERS TOOL KIT (Provided by National Autism Association)


National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Search Guidelines | En Espanol
Big Red Safety Toolkit for First Responders
First Responder Brochure
One-Sheeter for Law Enforcement
Search Checklist


Project Lifesaver:
LoJack SafetyNet:


National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:   1-800-THE-LOST
Reverse 911:    Phone: 954-763-1288
EMA Guidelines:


Autism Risk Management:
The Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition:
The Law Enforcement Awareness Network:
Autism Alliance for Local Emergency Responder Training:

Source: AWAARE Collaboration