I remember a conversation I had from years ago in a moms group when my kids were much smaller. They were discussing the concept of “chipping”children like you do pets. I was firmly in the camp of heck yes, as long as it was safe. Even though I am very far removed from the role of helicopter parent I won the autism lottery and was blessed with not one, but two autistic children. The challenges are numerous but two challenge in our case at least, are that they wander and they are quick to forget safety rules.
My youngest in particular has always wandered. He has no concept of danger, not from walking out in traffic and not from taking off in a crowded place. He has the impulse and he just goes with it. Whenever we go anywhere as a family I am constantly looking over my shoulder to look for him every minute or two and it is not uncommon to utter the phrase “Where’s Parker?” 20 times in day during a family outing. Luckily he hasn’t realized that holding his mom’s hand is uncool yet or it would be much worse.
Having a child who simply does not comprehend that he could get lost or separated from me if he wanders off is HUGE. This is one reason why it is in his IEP that he is picked up and dropped off at his front door instead of left at a bus stop. Supervision with him is critical and yet we can’t watch every second of every day. I recall that on the first day of his bus transit the driver forgot about his IEP requirement and dropped him at a bus stop about 2 houses down from ours. I heard the bus from inside the house and stood at the open door waiting for him. What I saw was him streaking past our home and towards a busy cross street. Had I not run out and started screaming his name I am not sure how that one would have ended.
Another issue with this child in particular is that I believe firmly he would go anywhere, with anyone, if they lured him. We have discussed safety and strangers but you are talking about a child with no concept of what is socially acceptable behavior himself so you cannot expect him to recognize suspicious behavior in others. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
I am often worried about my own child putting himself in harm’s way.
It was of great interest to me to see that a company called Not Your Child was running with the concept of wearable GPS trackers. Not so scary as an implant but still accomplishing the same thing. The tech provides a safe way to know where your child is, and how to find him or her if they have wandered away and are lost. Not Your Child™ will also help authorities to track missing children more effectively. It’s all about keeping our kids safe. The device is comfortable, it’s accurate, and it can be tracked online.
It works in 104 countries so it can be used while traveling. It is both web and app based, so data is accessible anywhere and notifications can be received via email, SMS, or push notifications on iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices.
Is this the future of child safety?
This post was written in partnership with Not Your Child Corp. but as always the opinions I share here are my own and based on my own world view.