On July 27, 2010, 5-year old Mason Medlam, a non-verbal boy with autism, wandered from his home in Colwich, Kansas and drowned in a pond despite numerous safety precautions. Click here to read an interview with Mason’s mother Sheila.
Mason was one of at least nine children with autism in the U.S. who died after wandering in 2010, all from drowning. So far in 2011, three children with autism in the U.S. have drowned after wandering. On March 30, a child with autism in Victoria, Australia died after being struck by a train. On April 3, a child with autism in Quebec, Canada went missing after wandering and has not been found.
In the eight months since her son Mason’s death, Sheila Medlam has been raising awareness of autism wandering. She has established the Mason Allen Medlam Foundation for Autism Safety and collected more than 100,000 signatures to propose a “Mason Alert” program. The Mason Alert would consist of an alert that would be triggered when a child with autism goes missing, and a registry of children with autism and other disabilities at risk for wandering.
Please click here to read the interview with Sheila Medlam on Examiner.com.