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Flutie Family Fence Project And Northeastern Fence & Supply Keep Children with Autism Safe

Flutie Many organizations within the autism world do wonderful work for people on the spectrum and their families. The Flutie Foundation is one of them. Check out their "Flutie Family Fence Project" in conjunction with Northeastern Fence of Saugus, Massachusetts.  Last week a 7 year old boy with autism named James Delorey wandered from home in Canada. He died as a result of hypothermia following two days in the frigid weather.

Read the full article on the Flutie Family Fence Project at WickedLocal: Saugus, MA News

The issue of wandering is prevalent within the Autism community. According to a recent online survey conducted by National Autism Association, 92 percent of the respondents said their autistic child was prone to wandering.

“With any child, there is always a concern for safety when kids are playing outside,” said Chris Chirco, Director of Programming at the Flutie Foundation. “That concern rises for parents of autistic children, who often wander and don’t understand the concept of danger or the repercussions of walking into traffic. Installing a fence around the yard where children play is an important tool that allows parents to create a safe area for their child to play freely.”

Chirco said the idea of complimentary fence installation, now known as the Flutie Family Fence Project, came after repeated calls by parents, voicing their concerns about the issue. He put out a call to action for fence companies throughout the state, and Northeastern Fence stepped up to the plate...


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Has anyone here gotten arrested because your child with autism climbed over the fence, and the police had no mercy, arrested you and called CPS on you? I'm even more hypervigilant and anxiety ridden now, after trying to clear my name so that I won't lose my public school teaching job. Being charged with child endangerment/abandonment, and having CPS give you a "reason to believe" disposition because society does not understand what parents of children with autism go through is the worse kind of undeserved character assassination.


Eileen, please keep us posted on your son. I don't know you in real life, but I feel like I do from your posts here. I will keep your son in my prayers

Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

Jenny - Thanks. He is still missing. It is very distressing.


Ms. Simon - I will pray that your son will return safely to you and that you will find a good housing situation for him.

Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

I happened to see Debbie Watson in recent comments, then Lisa's comment below.

My high-functioning adult son is missing. He ran away from his group home early last Friday morning. Because the doors are alarmed, he went out the window of his room, a six feet drop to the ground below. I notice this Flutie Foundation Fence project was posted in 2009. My son was missing from March 10 to May 2 in 2009. At his school reunion at Riverview on Cape Cod, other parents suggested I get him a cell phone, which I did, and he was thrilled to have a Hyannis number even!

Friday afternoon I called. He had hung up on all the calls from the group home. He answered my call. He told me he was in a chapel and shouldn't be using his phone there, but then he told me in a voice more expressive than I have ever heard, "I do not want to go back to that house. I hate it there!"

I tried to call back half an hour later, and his phone was turned off. I put in a missing person report with the Randolph police, who have been very understanding and kind to me, and they are working hard to located my son's phone. It was located in Concord yesterday, a really hot day, and I wondered if he went to Walden Pond to try to cool off. But the phone has been off ever since. It goes straight to voicemail, and I left a message that he does not have to return to that abusive group home. I told him I will go get his model car collection. I will have more to say about that group home, and hope my voice can be heard. "Community care" is a disgrace.

This morning at 5:20am I called my son's number. It rang three times! But then he shut it off. I called the police, who called Verizon. Verizon told them they need a warrant to continue to try to locate the phone. I called Verizon, but their customer line will not be available until 7 o'clock this morning.

The problem of wandering continues into adulthood. I too would appreciate anything the Flutie Foundation or the NFL could do prevent or help find autistic people who go missing.

Debbie Watson

We are trying to find specific laws under the American Disability Act or any where regarding fencing. We live in a subdivision where there is a home owners association that doesn't allow fencing. We are raising our 5 year old autistic grandson. Please help. Thanks


Hi, we live in NC. We live near two busy roads.. Our 12year old wanders. Cuts his screen or climbs out his window. I'm physically disabled I could not chase after him nor could I stop him. He is too strong.
Please, Mr.Flutie... Can you talk to your NFL alum, and ask them to form a grant and call it NFL for autism safety.. I'm not fussy on the name. I'm trying to protect my child. ( there is one thing I'm sure of.. I'm not the only parent looking and asking for help.)
Can someone please help?
Thank you


Hello we live in Alabama with an autistic child. We live in the country were people some times in the year hunt around. We have no neighbors around and we are concern about the safety of our child. We are a low income family and we need some type of help on getting a fence on our land. Please let us know if anyone could help us. Thank you sooo much and God bless.

Beth Corcoran

We have just gotten our fence thanks to the generosity of the Flutie Foundation and the willingness of Northeast Fence to partner with them. It is such a relief to know that our son is able to access the yard without having to fear for his safety when he walks out the door. This project enables family normalcy and gives a piece of mind. What a tremendous gift!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The Corcoran Family


I've been there too. My son doesn't understand the danger of going in the street amoung other things. I have put alarms on the doors so I will know if he ever opens one. I have no fence, so I'm petrified he will get out without me knowing. It would be wonderful to have the same thing in my area. I can't even get anyone out here to give me a quote on putting up a fence.


This is a fantastic idea! I hope this spreads everywhere. Can you imagine how many fences Autism Speaks could have put up with 1/2 a director's salary?


What a wonderful project! Like Cathy, we hope to eventually have our yard fenced in, at this time we don't have a fence at all.

Cathy Jameson

What a gift this would be. We've had a few scares ourselves. We're saving up money to replace the regular chain link fence we have with a tall privacy (can't be climbed over) fence....

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