More databases needed for individuals with autism who wander

Maine – A database designed to aid police in the search for individuals with autism who wander, will soon be expanded to more communities throughout the region.

The Wanderers Database was founded by Linda Lee, the mother of a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who had a history of what experts commonly refer to as “elopement.” Lee was worried about the lack of resources in place designed to assist local law enforcement officials to locate her son and other children on the spectrum and decided to take action.

The concerned mother therefore decided to develop the database which is an electronic record keeping system that enables families to upload photos and pertinent information regarding their child. The information is then stored and maintained on the database therefore serving as a valuable tool that can potentially improve the speed and efficacy of a police search should their child go missing.

However although the program is set to expand, a lack of funding and various logistical challenges are preventing the service from being offered to families in other parts of the country. Studies suggest that approximately 50 per cent of those with ASD engage in wandering. Therefore the hope now is that parents throughout the country will, like Lee, be able to successfully initiate the development of similar databases in their respective communities.

The original article by Lana Bandoim on the EmaxHealth website can be read here