Enough is enough…Its time for the Autism Community to fix this problem!


We have an ongoing problem in the autism community. Thanks to the wide reach of social media, most of you already know that I’m talking about the numerous injuries and deaths suffered every year due to wandering. Defined as “to move about from place to place with or without a fixed plan,” wandering is “among the top causes of death within the autism population,” according to the National Autism Association.

Every time I see one of these situations played out in the media, my heart aches, but it’s the lack of action from within our own community that keeps me awake at night. We are a passionate group of people, and people with passion can move mountains. So why does this continue to be a problem for us?

Jayliel Vega Batista's body was recovered from the Lehigh Canal about a quarter of a mile from his parents' Allentown home, which he wandered away from

Jayliel Vega Batista’s body was recovered from the Lehigh Canal about a quarter of a mile from his parents’ Allentown home, which he wandered away from.

You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to figure it out. We’ve been too busy aiming our zeal at each other! While there are many topics worthy of debate and concern within our community, shouldn’t our kids’ safety top the list?

Did you know that the Amber Alert and reverse 911 systems can take more than an hour to go into effect while it only takes twenty seconds to drown? Our loved ones need better. We cannot wait for the government or a corporation to create a system that will meet the needs of our kids. This is a responsibility we must shoulder.

That is why Firefighters vs Autism has launched the Puzzle Alert Safety System through our website. We are also developing an app that will make activating the system easier for parents and caretakers (WE ARE JUST A FEW THOUSAND DOLLARS SHORT OF MAKING THIS APP AVAILABLE…PLEASE DONATE HERE TO HELP).

Here’s the catch—this will only work if millions of people sign up to receive the alerts. We need to come together as a community and direct our efforts toward a common goal. It’s up to us. So share the Puzzle Alert on your e-mail and social media outlets. Sit your family and friends down and help them sign up. Use that famous enthusiasm to explain how this could save lives. Maybe even your child’s.

Remember, we aren’t asking you or your contacts to do pushups! Signing up will take only a minute and until we’ve reached one million followers, no one is going to take us seriously. Nor should they! That’s it (unless you have an excess of money you’d like to get rid of…in which case please click here).

Firefighter vs Autism has provided the platform for change, but the situation won’t improve without action. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that in order for things to get better we have to get better. In order to see change, we have to change. So lets be the change needed to stamp out the dangers of wandering.