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ASdogGeek
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22 Mar 2011, 11:39 pm

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92 percent of children and adults with autism wander and this can be both dangerous and deadly. This is largely due to the fact that individuals on the spectrum often have an impaired sense of danger. Many individuals on the spectrum maybe drawn to large bodies of water and will play in and may attempt to swim. They don’t take into account current, under toe or sudden drop off or if they can swim. The number one cause of death in autistic adults and children who wander is drowning. This I have written from my observations and from talking with my autistic cousin. When it comes to wandering from my experience there seems to be 6 forms of wandering.



* Target wandering
* Pleasure wandering
* Distracted/dissonant wandering
* Triggered/interest wandering
* Exploration wandering
* Bolt wandering

Target wandering: target wander is when the individual has a specific destination in mind, this is usually a place they enjoy and have been to before. This may be done to seek comfort or just to have fun. This is a very common form of wandering my result from any of the other forms of wandering.



Pleasure wandering: This often turns into distracted or target wandering, pleasure wandering is when the adult or child is very happy and relaxed and just wants to go for a walk or go to a place they love. Pleasure wandering can also occur when the child or individual gets into trouble at home is is stressed about something and they go outside and feeling more relaxed are overcome with a desire to walk or go somewhere.



Distracted/dissonant wandering: This is fairy common and tends to occur when the adult or child is out playing, on a walk, like going for a walk to a park or home from the bus stop, or when they are out running errands. The adult or child gets so lost in thought and wrapped up in their own world they keep walking not realizing they over shot their destination or completely for getting what they were doing and where they were going. This can lead to any of the other 3 forms of wander.



Triggered/ interest wandering
: Triggered/ interest wandering is when something caught the individual’s attention that causes them to wander. One example of this would be if the child or adult saw something they were interested in or wanted then they would wander off and would go to where it is. Another example would be if they were to see a cat and wanting to pet it or hold it they would slip away and fallow the cat.



Exploration wandering: This occurs most often when the adult or child is in a new environment and it is basicly self explanatory. The adult or child goes and explores their new surrounding, if they have just moved they will likely explore all the rooms then the yard and from there on out.



Bolt wandering: Bolt Wandering I also refer to as panic wandering. This is often seen when something frightens the individual such as a sudden loud un expected sound. This sound seems to trigger the flight or fight response to kick in causing the individual to bolt in this instance the individual is fully paniced and will try to find a place to hide. When this happens the child or adult may seek small dark places where they can hide. This can be very dangerous as some small cramped space will have a limited amount of oxygen and during the summer dehydration and hyperthermia, or heat stroke are als major risks to the individuals safety. Some places an individual may choose to hide my be overtly dangerous one example would be a train tunnel. You and I can see how CLEARLY dangerous this would be but for and adult or child on the spectrum, especially when frightened, they will note register the inherent danger but will instead will see this as a “safe place,” other dangerous hiding places may be in or under cars or truck



“My child is only mildly autistic and he/ she knows bodies of water are dangerous so why would he/ she go near them?”

This is often a baffling question however the answer is very simple, it is one thing to be able to say “ it isn’t safe to play in a river,” but it is a totally different thing when the concept need to be put into play. My cousin has high functioning autism and she described it to me like this.

“when I am talking to people I can tell them what is and is not safe but when I wander off on my own I am often in my own world and just enjoying life, and when I come across a river or pond my brain doesn’t register it as a safety hazard but rather a a beautiful shimmering river of water. I love water and I love playing in it so when I see the shimmering water I am over come with a desire to play with or swim in it. I can tell you what is dangerous in a list but when I am off wandering and in my own world danger and safety never register as though the information vanishes from my knowledge and understanding for the time and all I know is joy and pleasure,”



“Why don’t you spank them? If you spank or punish them they won’t wander,”

Spanking won’t work many parents if not all have tried once or twice! The reality is when and adult or child wanders they often don’t realize they are doing anything inherently wrong or dangerous and they won’t make the connection between the action and the punishment



Many individual on the spectrum have trouble realizing others have thoughts, opinion or beliefs other than their own. When wandering many adults and children don’t make the connection and are not worried because they know exactly where they are and therefore so does everyone else.



Wandering can very dangerous and deadly when an indavidual wander they could be in imedite danger! The Mason Aleen Medllam foundation and the mason alert are designed to give our first responders the resources they need to bring our loved ones home safe and sound for more info on wandering, autism safey and the Mason Alert and to support the Mason alert go to www.masonalert.com Help make the world a safer place for or autistic angels


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thoughts?


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daydreamer84
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23 Mar 2011, 12:47 pm

I think I did all of those kinds of wandering a s a child. My mom used to have nightmares about me being hit by a car. :oops:



ASdogGeek
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23 Mar 2011, 12:54 pm

daydreamer84 wrote:
I think I did all of those kinds of wandering a s a child. My mom used to have nightmares about me being hit by a car. :oops:


Yeah I did to and sometimes instill do it is part of Nim's job. I still bolt wander defiantly.


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Autism Service Dogs - Everyday heroes
many people spend their live looking for a hero
My autism service dog IS my hero

http://autismdoggirl.blogspot.com/
http://stridersautismdogjourney.blogspot.com/