After you read this story, consider making a donation to our sponsor National Autism Association's FOUND initiative HERE. And don't forget their conference on 11/11 in St. Pete. The National Autism Association (NAA) has announced the launch of a new program aimed at providing families and counties nationwide with safety tools for children with autism. The FOUND Program is the organization’s third direct-assistance program, which will immediately fund $54,400.00 to provide at least eight counties with Project Lifesaver equipment and tracking watches...
Project Lifesaver is a nationwide tracking program established to locate and rescue missing persons, namely those with cognitive impairments and developmental disabilities.
Read the full story in the Patriot Ledger.
QUINCY — Quincy Police Lt. Dan Minton waded into the water at Wollaston Beach and approached the boy cautiously so as to not startle him.
Minton said he chatted nonchalantly with the 8-year-old about swimming, and the boy took his hand.
As they walked back to shore, the boy complained of pain in his foot as he crossed some rough sea floor. Minton lifted him on his shoulder and brought him to his mother, who was racing across the sand toward them.
The Wednesday rescue of the Quincy boy, who has autism, might have had a less happy ending if it had taken place two years ago.
But thanks to Minton’s quick thinking, as well as a national program that uses a LoJack-manufactured monitoring device to keep tabs on children with special needs and Alzheimer’s patients, the boy was found within 15 minutes.
Minton was watching his daughter’s high school volleyball game on Wednesday when he got the call about the missing 8-year-old.
Minton, who oversees the monitoring program for Quincy police, recognized the boy’s name and knew he is autistic. Minton’s training emphasized that autistic children often gravitate to water, so he headed toward Wollaston Beach.
“I grabbed one of my daughters to be a spotter while I’m driving and we went right down to the ocean,” Minton said.
Fourteen minutes after the boy’s mother called to report him missing, Minton carried him unharmed out of the water.
“He was so thrilled to be in the water, frolicking in the water,” Minton said. “He was just loving it. ”
The rescue is a dramatic example of how the Project Lifesaver program works...