One Park’s Efforts to Help Autistic Kids and Their Parents

ProjectLifesaverMinneapolis–Saint Paul: One of the largest regional parks in the Twin Cities, Three Rivers Park District, has announced a new program to provide devices that will help protect guest who are in danger of wandering.

The district has leased 4 devices from Protect and Locate that it will provide free of charge to families on a first come, first serve basis.

These devices are worn like a wristwatch and emit a sound when the person wearing them wanders more than a preset distance from the caregiver who is carrying the receiver. Parents who work for the park have tried them and found them to be an excellent way to help keep their special needs children safe.

Children on the spectrum may wander off and many families are reluctant to go to a park for fear a moment of distraction could lead to a tragedy. These devices address that fear in a way that is not intrusive for the family or other patrons at the park. Now local families can call ahead to reserve a device and enjoy the many activities available at the park.

The watch bands lock in place and cannot be removed without a special tool, so there is no concern that a child will remove the watch on their own.

These devices come from a non-profit organization called Project Lifesaver. They are designed to find individuals who may wander off and are unable to return. Each device has a GPS chip in addition to the sound so that anyone wearing one can be found in a matter of minutes, rather than hours or days.

The devices are available to the public for purchase with an additional cost for the service provided to track the devices.

head shotContributed by Dawn Marcotte

Dawn Marcotte created, as a result of her struggle to find service and support for her family.

Autism Daily Newscast first wrote about Project Lifesaver a year ago. The original article can be read here.