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The worry of a child wandering is great enough on it's own -- but when that child has special needs the stakes are even higher. The online journal, Pediatrics, published a survey results from over 1200 families containing children with autism. It revealed that 49 percent of those children wandered off at least once after the age of four. Of that 49 percent, nearly half of the children who disappeared for a period of time, were away long enough to be labeled as “missing.”
The response to this needs to be diffusing this fear with information and knowledge so that parents are prepared and preventative. We have several resources that touch on what wandering can look like with kids that have special needs, ways to have them prepared if it ever happens to them, and several different resources that can help make sure that none of these situations turn dire. There are resources at the links below, and an inforgraphic with a rundown of information below that.
Packet on Missing Children with Special Needs
Autism Wandering and Elopement Initiative
Big Red Safety Toolkit
Why do Children with Autism Wander?
AIM of NWA is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults with special needs.
AIM provides funding for a program called AIM to Help which funds grants for Benton and Washington County families impacted by an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The grants provide individuals on the Autism Spectrum with funding that may be used for a wide variety of supports and programs.
In order to qualify for a grant, a recipient must:
· Be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder
· Reside in Benton or Washington County.
· Not be on the Medicaid Waiver Program
· Provide supporting documentation for the diagnosis of Autism
Grants will range up to - $500.00.
Grants are used to cover the costs of generally accepted autism treatments or equipment that are neither fully covered by insurance nor provided by school systems.
Examples of possible uses of grant money:
Social skills training
Horseback riding lessons
Education conference fees
To apply for funds, please complete the enclosed application forms and return to:
AIM of NWA 16385 Armour Rd
Springdale, AR 72764
Once your application is received, it will be reviewed to determine if you meet the above guidelines. Grants will be issued by November 15, 2013. If your application is approved, we will mail you the AIM to Help grant for immediate use. If we cannot meet your request, you will receive a letter explaining the decision.
Deadlines for Grants
September 30, 2013 Deadline for all 2013 applications
October 31, 2013 All grants will be reviewed/ notified by this date
November 15, 2013 2013 Grants will be awarded by this date
January 31, 2014 Thank you letters for grants are due
Staff of the Northwest Arkansas Community Parent Resource Center (including original content as well as curated links to various authors around the web.)