Action is presently being taken in the US to attempt to have a new designation put in place on an alert system.
Unlike an Amber alert which is used in kidnapping cases where it is believed that the child is in imminent danger, Mason’s Alert is aimed at having public looking for a child who has wandered away.
The issue with autistics wandering away is extreme. The reason is that 92% of autism cases are believed to be prone to wandering and the major issue being that Autistics generally do not feel the same dangers that normal children would feel.
In our case, our child has wandered in the past, our child unlocked the door and walked out in bare feet playing a handheld video game. He wandered down a gravel driveway, across a street down three blocks to a major street and was picked up by a passer-by wandering down the yellow line. The passer-by called the police just as my wife was calling the police and we picked him up a few minutes later. However at 6 years old non verbal and without fear we spent a frantic 15 minutes searching the house and neighbourhood before calling the police and yes we were freaking. But we got lucky. In many cases these children are not always so lucky. Many autistics are attracted to water and most show very little fear. A large number of autistic children have been pulled from neighbouring lakes and swimming pools and in some cases police were slow to respond because the child had wandered and was considered likely to return on their own. With autistics this is never a guarantee and not a chance we can take.
Canada also needs to look into a Mason’s alert system that would quickly and instantly broadcast details of a wandering autistic child. We need to protect them because so often many of them cannot protect themselves.
I am going to place a link here to Mason’s Alert but please follow this link with caution what you will see there will break your heart as it is not filled with feel good stories but a list of those who have wandered away with drastic consequences. You will quickly understand why a system like this is needed for those who do not fall under the Amber Alert program criteria