It is every parent’s worst fear. For a special needs parent or caretaker the mere thought of it can be crippling. You let your guard down for a moment. You turn your attention away from your loved one for an instant. Suddenly, he is gone.
Roanoke, VA (PRWEB) October 08, 2012
According to research just published in the journal Pediatrics, 50 percent of autistic children studied engage in wandering behavior. The website Autism After 16 addresses this issue in its article, “Surviving the Wandering Nightmare,” written by Police Officer Jerry Turning, who is also the father of a son with autism.
"It is unthinkable. It is every parent’s worst fear. For a special needs parent or caretaker the mere thought of it can be crippling. You let your guard down for a moment. You turn your attention away from your loved one for an instant. Suddenly, he is gone," says Turning, who is a certified police K9 Handler and Trainer.
On more than one occasion, Turning has seen desperation in the eyes of a parent whose autistic son or daughter is missing. As a K9 handler, he has felt the almost unbearable burden of having a family’s entire world resting on his shoulders. And as the father of a son with autism, Turning has also felt the knee-buckling terror of losing his child. He knows that for typical families, the dangers of wandering start to subside as their children reach the age of 5 or 6 years old. But for many special needs parents and caretakers, the dangers remain throughout the teenage years and, often, well into adulthood.
Turning's articles for Autism After 16 focus on helping families and law enforcement personnel develop strong community support systems. He has also authored an article entitled, “Well-Informed is Well-Armed: Easing Police Response to Domestic Incidents,” on the topic of dealing with behavior that requires police support.
“As more children with autism become adults, communities need to know how to incorporate them well,” says the website’s editor, Merope Pavlides. “It’s important that law enforcement and other emergency personnel understand autism, and that families have information regarding how to best work with them. We brought Jerry Turning on board to help develop what we believe is crucial dialogue. As a police officer and an autism parent, his writing provides a unique and important perspective.”
Autism After 16 is a website devoted to providing information and analysis of adult autism issues. Over 50 percent of its contributing writers are autistic adults, while many others are family members. Autism After 16 provides informational articles on accessing adult services, commentary, links to useful resources, and a library of videos to help teach independent living skills.