Parents of children or adults with autism have many concerns, but safety is always first and foremost on their minds.

Thanks to the ongoing generosity of Vivint Gives Back and the National Autism Association, parents can have access to some tools to help teach and protect their children from some potential dangers.

According to the National Autism Association, those in the autism spectrum are at higher risk for many different dangers. Cited on the website http://nationalautismassociation.org is a 2008 study by Danish researchers showing that the mortality risk among the autism population is twice as high as the general population. Specifically mentioned was that drowning is among the leading causes of death of individuals with autism. In the last month, I have referenced twice locations where children with autism can receive swimming lessons.

Wandering or running is another high risk area for individuals with autism. Roughly half of children in the autism spectrum attempt to flee from a safe environment, which is nearly four times higher than siblings not in the spectrum. To make matters more difficult, more than a third of ASD children who wander are not able to communicate their name, address or phone numbers. Wandering was ranked among the most stressful ASD behavior by 58% of parents.

Bullying is a genuine concern for parents of children in the spectrum. According to NAA, 65% of parents reported that their high-functioning children had been victimized by peers in some way in the last year. Other statistics show 47% reporting that their children had been hit by peers or siblings, 50% were scared by peers, 9% were attacked by a gang and hurt in private parts, 12% indicate that their children had never been invited to a birthday party, 6% were picked last for teams and 3 % eat lunch alone every day.

These are just some of the reasons that it is important to provide children with necessary tools to encourage safety. The Big Red Safety Boxes are provided to families of individuals with autism at no charge. To qualify for a box, you must be the primary caregiver of an individual with an autism diagnosis, be over the age of 18 and a U.S. resident, agree to the terms and conditions on the application and be a first-time recipient (there is a limit to one box per family). Applications are available at http://nationalautismassociation.org/big-red-safety-boxes-now-available.

The boxes include educational material including the NAA’s Be REDy Booklet, two GE Door/window alarms with batteries, one RoadID bracelet or show ID tag that include instructions on personalizing it, five adhesive stop sign visual prompts for doors and windows, two safety alert window clings for car or home windows, one red safety alert wristband and one child ID kit from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

If you have more than one child with autism and need additional IDs, wristbands, etc., they can be purchased separately. These boxes are available on a first-come, first-served availability.

Thank you again, to Vivint Gives Back for recognizing and providing resources to families in our community.

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