A 7-year-old local children with autism was recently lost at the Kowloon Bay MTR station and was later found by his father with the help from neighbourhood and GPS positioning device. Children with autism are likely to wander on their own due to curiosity or evasion of stimuli. There are also possible ways currently to prevent children from getting lost, apart from wearing cards or clothes with names and addresses, anti-lost trackers with GPS functioning are also becoming more popular and commonly used.
Following the death of a teenager who had severe autism and walked away from his school, the United States officially implemented a policy called Avonte’s Law that allocates 2 millions a year to subsidize GPS trackers for parents in need. Through the real-time location of children found in cellphone or computer, serious and undesirable consequences due to the loss of children with autism can be prevented and minimized.
Referring to data of Education Bureau, there are more than 10,000 students with autism in public sector mainstream schools. Children with autism tend to have limited self-care ability and effective communication skills that the consequences could be disastrous if getting lost in unfamiliar environment. Government and non-profit organizations are supposed to learn more about the symptoms and treatment needs of children with autism in order to provide such devices and appropriate support to families in need, preventing tragedies from happening again and facilitating healthy growth of children, a mile to a smile!
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