In NY, Lawmakers Are Calling for GPS Trackers

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gps_tracking_autismA recent ‘Center for Disease Control’ (CDC) study found that an estimated 1 in 50 kids have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is a number that has increased 72% in the past 4 years.

Each case is different, and severity levels differ too. Some kids living with this disorder are highly functional while others are not. Some kids also wander away from home regularly leaving parents in a constant sate of panic.

In NY, a recent case of a 14-year-old non-verbal autistic boy wandering away from school has caught the attention of the nation. In turn, this has caused lawmakers, parents, and educators in NY to propose voluntary GPS trackers for children with autism that have a history of running away from home.

The Case

On October 4th, Avonte Oquendo was seen on a surveillance video running out of the doors of the Riverview School in Queens, NY.

Here’s what unfolded in the Avonte Oquendo case:

  • The security guard that was stationed outside the doors of the school questioned Oquendo as to why he was leaving school, but did not stop him even when Oquendo failed to respond.
  • For 45 minutes, teachers roamed the neighborhood near the school, looking for Oquendo, and neglecting to call police.
  • It took school staff more than one hour to phone the child’s parents.

Avonte Oquendo has not yet been located.

NY Proposes GPS Tracker

The ‘NY Department of Justice’ already provides GPS trackers for people suffering from Alzheimer’s, so why not provide the same technology to parents of children with Autism?

The city can be a scary place for a child with Autism. Scary noises and flashing lights often cause these children to hide, which makes it even harder to find a child that has run away. A GPS tracker would certainly help.

How effective are GPS trackers? One NY senator estimates that a GPS tracker can cut down search and rescue time by a staggering 95%. Right now, NY parents of children with Autism can head to a local police department to fill out an application for a GPS device. But, as of this writing, this is not mandatory.

GPS trackers are an optimal way to keep anyone in need from wandering away from home. If you’re looking for a GPS tracker, contact us today to see what we can do for you. We also hope that Avonte Oquendo returns home safely.

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