A new program seeks to protect autistic children and adults from wandering off.
The SAFE program, which stands for Security for Autistic Families, is being pushed by the Autism Society of Alabama.
"That problem for autistic families is a huge problem. Whether it's a child with autism or an adult with autism. At this time individuals may become confused and wander from safety, wander from their families," Bama Hager with the Autism Society of Alabama said.
The Alabama Council for disabilities gave the Autism Society $25,000 to develop the SAFE program. Hager said the program seeks to create databases with local sheriff's offices and to help officers approach those with autism.
"The best way to approach that child and also the characteristics. Does a child who has autism have brown hair, five feet tall, that kind of information. A family can go ahead and have in place with first responders, their communities," Hager said.
The SAFE program also wants to expand the Lifesaver program by offering tracking devices to families with autistic children or adults in all Alabama counties. The Autism Society of Alabama was moved to create the program after the drowning deaths of two children, a three-year-old in Calera and another child in Orange Beach.
"This program can save lives," Hager said.
The Autism Society of Alabama will be looking to meet with sheriffs across the state to see what programs they may already have and what information and resoures they are lacking which will hopefully preventing future tragedies.
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