Children with autism are often prone to wandering, fascinated by water, and unaware of danger. Many of these children are also impulsive and nonverbal. This combination of characteristics can be fatal.
In 2010, at least nine children with autism died in the U.S. after wandering, all of them by drowning. Already in 2011, at least three children with autism have drowned in the U.S. after wandering. On March 30, a child with autism in Victoria, Australia died after being struck by a train. He wandered from home. On April 3, a child with autism in Quebec, Canada went missing after wandering and has not been found. The search has focused on a river.
“It’s just terrible to watch it happen over and over again. We relive the loss of Mason each time,” said Sheila Medlam, whose 5-year old son Mason drowned in a pond after wandering away from his house in Colwich, Kansas July 27, 2010.
In an interview with Examiner.com, Medlam talked about the life of her son Mason, the joy he brought her and her family, his tragic death, and efforts to raise awareness to prevent future wandering fatalities.
For more on wandering and autism, read the rest of my article on Examiner.com here.