» Voluntary Tracking Devices Proposed for Children with Autism

Voluntary Tracking Devices Proposed for Children with Autism

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) March 11, 2014 - Senator Charles Schumer has proposed legislation that would fund voluntary tracking devices for children with autism. The devices would help address the problem of wandering.

The proposed legislation is called “Avonte's Law,” after Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year-old autistic boy who was found dead after he disappeared from his school in Queens, New York.

The law would increase funding for a Department of Justice program that provides grants to police departments and other groups that allow them to supply tracking devices for people with Alzheimer's disease. The law would allocate $10 million to expand the program to cover children with autism. Each tracking device costs between $80 and $90 to purchase and a few dollars per month to operate. Interested parents would have free access to the devices, which can be sewn into clothing or worn around the wrist.

Use of the devices would be the parents' decision, and local governments would decide exactly how they would be implemented. The devices can be programmed in different ways: to alert authorities automatically when a child leaves a certain perimeter, like school grounds, or to activate only when authorities are notified.

Avonte Oquendo disappeared from his school by the Queens waterfront in October 2013. He had no prior history of running away. Due to his severe autism, he was not able to communicate verbally, making him more vulnerable to danger. The New York Police Department, along with the boy's family and volunteers, searched for him by every available means. Bloodhounds were put on the scent, divers searched the East River, and neighbors and subway riders saw the boy's face on posters and heard announcements regarding his disappearance. His remains were discovered along the East River shoreline in January. DNA testing confirmed the identity of the body, and an investigation continues into the cause of death.

According to Senator Schumer, the tracking equipment is “a high-tech solution to an age-old problem.” Research indicates that nearly 50 percent of children with autism are prone to wandering or bolting, often to get away from noises that overstimulate them. Many are drawn to bodies of water because they seem soothing, which creates a significant drowning risk.

New York Contact:
Maria M. Brill
Littman Krooks LLP
(914) 684-2100
mbrill@littmankrooks.com

New York City Office
655 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone

Westchester Office
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone

Dutchess Office
300 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 400
Fishkill, NY 12524
(845) 896-1106 Phone


View Larger Map

  • WIHD LEND Program Recruiting Family Specialist Trainees
    The Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) is recruiting leadership trainees for its Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training program. Trainees will have the opportunity to develop the skills necessary for a career focused on helping children with special needs and their families. The program includes three overview courses, clinical experience, and […]
  • Special Needs Expos
    Earlier this year, we interviewed Heather Rogoff Angstreich, Founder/Partner, Special Needs Expos about the upcoming year and events they are holding in 2015. Here’s what she had to say: Why did you create special needs expos?  All I wanted to do was help other parents and children who were in my shoes. My son, (who is […]
  • Community Based Service Network To Serve Medicaid Beneficiaries in Westchester County
    The Neighborhood Network of New York (NNNY) is set to develop an innovative, community based service network for adults with autism, thanks to a grant from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). The program will provide individualized services to clients, including remote support technology and community activities. NNNY will launch […]
  • Special Education Waiver Proposal Threatens Student Services
    By Marion Walsh, Esq. and Sandi Rosenbaum, Special Education Advocate On March 4, 2015, between 6:30-8:00, the Lower Hudson Valley Special Education Advocacy Task Force will be holding a Policy Discussion Forum at the Arc of Westchester (The Gleeson-Israel Gateway Center, 265 Saw Mill River Road (9A), Hawthorne, NY), to discuss the Executive Budget and the […]
  • Wandering and Autism: Wearable QR Codes
    By Erin Wilson, Founder, If I Need Help.org Last year, New Yorkers rallied to change laws regarding school safety and making tracking devices available to vulnerable people. According to Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response and Education (AWAARE), a 2011 study conducted by the Interactive Autism Network through the Kennedy Krieger Institute found that: Roughly half, […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required