Later today, Avonte Oquendo’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine, will be accompanying Senator Chuck Schumer as a guest for the President’s State of the Union address. Avonte Oquendo wandered from his NYC high school on October 4, 2013. Avonte, 14 had nonverbal autism and sadly his body was found in the East River in January. His death raised awareness nationally to the issues of wandering and bolting among those with autism. As reported by Autism Daily Newscast, statistics show that 91 percent of autistic children aged 14 and below who wandered have consequently drowned.
It has been a year since Sen. Schumer announced Avonte’s Law which would fund voluntary tracking devices for autistic children. It is hoped that Ms Fontaine’s presence will focus more attention on “Avonte’s Law” which would require the Department of Education in the State of New York to evaluate the need for alarms on all exterior doors at schools that services students with special needs. The federal government has recently approved funding for voluntary tracking devices for those children at risk.
Source: Pix11 News Sen. Schumer to bring mother of Avonte Oquendo to State of the Union address