Contest is closed: Chris O'Connell is the Winner.
Managing Editor's Note: I received an email from EmFinders (watch a video here) about their location system. Wandering is always a concern in our community. I asked, and they kindly agreed, to donate ONE UNIT to an AofA reader,a long with 1 FREE month of monitoring. Rules:
Emfinders will contact Winner directly to ship device and provide setup info.
Emfinders will ship device free of charge with initial month of service paid directly to contest winner
After 1 month EmFinders will contact the winner to add a yearly service contract billed on a monthly basis to continue using the service. -Monthly cost is $35/month.
Any questions in regards to product/service/etc they can contact EmFinders customer care @ 1-866-426-3386
If you enter the contest, you will be responsible for each additional month of monitoring ($35). Only families who will use and continue the monitoring are encouraged to enter. Leave a comment with your email address in the email field to enter. Thanks for understanding. For more information about EmFinders’ EmSeeQ emergency locator system, please visit www.emfinders.com. KS
EmFinders Offers Tips, Technologies to Help Protect Children with Autism against the Dangers of Bolting
Maker of Life-Saving EmSeeQ® Location Device Urges Parents and Caregivers to Safeguard against Elopement
FRISCO, TX - For parents and caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), the risk of bolting (wandering away or elopement) is a source of constant worry. To help prevent a wandering event from becoming a tragedy, EmFinders, maker of the life-saving EmSeeQ®wearable locator device for children and adults with special needs, is urging parents, grandparents, school officials and other caregivers to take special precautions to prevent kids with ASD from wandering off to avoid potentially grave consequences.
“Bolting is very common in kids with autism: about half of parents of children with ASD deal with elopement.Among those who do, two-thirds say their child has had a ‘close call’ with traffic, while one-third say they’ve had a ‘close call’ with a possible drowning,” said Jim Nalley, co- founder of EmFinders, citing recent research from the Interactive Autism Network (IAN). “Certainly there are steps you can take to prevent a child from bolting, but it’s also critical to have a plan in place to bring them home quickly and safely if they do get away. That’s where EmSeeQ can help.”
EmSeeQ Speeds Rescue in Spokane
When 9-year-old Jakob Lund failed to return home from Whitman Elementary School in Spokane, Wash. one Friday afternoon in May, his mother, Stephanie, knew exactly what to do: she first called 911 and then alerted EmFinders, who activated Jakob’sEmSeeQ bracelet. Jakob has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, and had a history of wandering off for hours at a time. His mother purchased the EmSeeQ bracelet the previous fall as a way to quickly locate Jakob and bring him home safely should this situation occur.
Thanks to the EmSeeQ bracelet, police were able to locate Jakob 15 blocks away from the school in just 10 minutes. “I think it’s really important for any parent who has a child with disabilities or even just a regular child because this device is just incredible,” Lund said of the EmSeeQ system. “I think it will end a lot of Amber Alerts.”
The EmSeeQ system uses the nationwide TruePosition U-TDOA cellular technology to quickly locate the individual wearing the device anywhere in the U.S. where cellular coverage exists. Once activated, the bracelet places a call to 911, providing its location to dispatchers, who can then direct responders to the individual’ specific location, as they do every day for thousands of wireless 911 calls. The system can accurately locate the wearer to within meters, typically within 30 minutes.
Affordable Peace of Mind
In addition to virtually eliminating time-consuming search and rescue operations that can jeopardize the lost individual’s safety and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, EmSeeQ provides a valuable peace of mind to parents and caregivers who know they have a tool for quick rescue in the event their child escapes their careful supervision.
“We are so glad to have such an effective and accessible safety tool available that can relieve some of the anxiety parents may have about their child wandering away,” said Emily Iland, chairperson of the Santa Clarita Autism Asperger Network’s (SCAAN) Community Law Enforcement Aware Response (CLEAR) Committee. The mother of an autistic child herself, Iland spearheads SCAAN’s nationally recognized programs to train local law enforcement officials in the signs and symptoms of ASD and how to approach and handle children with ASD who are unresponsive or nonverbal. “EmSeeQ offers an affordable option for parents to help prevent a tragedy, which is the smartest thing you can do.
“Think about it: If your child went missing, what would you pay to get them back? The fact that EmSeeQ offers inexpensive peace of mind is incredibly valuable for parents who live a state of constant worry,” Iland said.
An Ounce of Prevention
In addition to taking preventative measures to retrieve a child with ASD if they do wander or become lost, keeping kids with ASD safe takes a combination of careful planning and creativity on the part of parents, grandparents and other caregivers. In addition to the Safety in the Home tips offered by the Autism Society of America, EmFinders and Iland recommend parents take the following precautions:
- Talk to neighbors about the child’s ASD and his or her tendency to elope—and this goes for parents, grandparents and anywhere else the child might stay or visit. Having those extra sets of eyes can help bring a safe and speedy end to a wandering situation.
- Many children have a favorite place they go to if they do bolt, a particular store, for example. Talk with the people who work there (door greeters, cashiers, or other attendants), and explain how they can contact parents if they should see the child there without a parent or guardian. Iland even suggests creating business cards with emergency contact information and handing them out to everyone who might encounter the child if he or she should show up unsupervised.
- Have the child wear a medical ID bracelet to identify their ASD and help police and other responders recognize the special circumstances that may surround an encounter with the child
- Introduce the child to police officers, sheriff’s deputies and other emergency personnel. Not only will help the child feel more comfortable if he or she were to encounter a uniformed officer during a wandering emergency but it will also make these first responders aware of the child’s ASD, behaviors they might display and how best to approach him or her in the event the child does need to be rescued.
“Despite the best efforts of vigilant parents and caregivers, no amount of planning and prevention can completely eliminate the risk of a determined child with ASD wandering into harm’s way,” Iland said. “And, while EmSeeQ is certainly no substitute for careful supervision, it does provide a very effective rescue tool that can dramatically reduce the risk of a wandering emergency turning into a tragedy.”
Available in two models, a buckle-style band or a secure clasp-style that requires two hands for removal, the EmSeeQ system costs less than a typical cell phone. Unlike other locator systems, EmSeeQ can locate a missing person anywhere in the U.S. where cellular coverage exists, and it even works indoors and in other areas where GPS satellite signals may be obstructed.
For more information about EmFinders’ EmSeeQ emergency locator system, please visit www.emfinders.com.
EmFinders, based in Frisco, TX, is a new technology company that has developed a device and subscription service for locating people with Alzheimer’s or other impaired adults and children who wander and become lost. The wearable device and locator service uses advanced cellular technology to locate lost individuals, even if they wander inside a building, under a structure or just about anywhere. The device becomes activated on remote command and the locator service works in coordination with emergency responders. EmFinders is a privately held subsidiary of TruePosition and Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Capital group (NASDAQ: LCAPA), which owns a broad range of electronic retailing, media, communications and entertainment businesses. For more information, visit www.emfinders.com.