When my daughter with Down syndrome was younger, we had to be hyper vigilant of her whereabouts. She seemed to have an innate sense to “go.” The first time she left our house on her own, she was only 3 years old. A nice couple found her just feet away from a busy street and we believe it was divine intervention the man came straight to our house asking if someone had “lost a little girl.” The realization she had managed to get out of the house unnoticed was terrifying.
Her “wandering” and “eloping” made its way into her IEP. In Kindergarten, I drove to the school during recess time and parked on the street overlooking the playground because I was terrified she would elope. She wore a bright orange vest. When teachers expressed it would signal her out, I said, “Good! That way if she ever takes off every single adult and child will see it, and she won’t be able to get far.”
She was the kid who would bolt out of her classroom and go.
At some point, we bought a buddy tag for the times we went out with her.
As she got older, she seemed to be doing better. Until a few weeks ago when I had to call 911 and was terrified my child could potentially end up in a tragic situation. When we did find her, she was disoriented and scared, “I couldn’t find home,” she said. I have never been more scared in my life.
So this week in the podcast we discuss what you can do if your child is an “eloper.”
Listen to the show:
AngelSense (our first recommendation)
Alert Me bands
Project Lifesaver (through police department)