Project Lifesaver can help children and adults prone to wandering

Project Lifesaver is an Autism Family Network program.
President of the Autism Family Network, Cathy Martinez, tells 10/11 NOW that wandering is very prevalent within the autism community
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 9:12 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln has a resource for people who are prone to wandering. The device is called “project lifesaver,” a battery operated band that a child or adult can wear that sends off a frequency signal when someone is reported missing.

When a person isn’t able to be located, the caregiver can notify 911, where an emergency team will then be sent out to find the person. The device extends roughly six miles, and has been used to locate those who are lost.

President of the Autism Family Network, Cathy Martinez said that wandering is very prevalent within the autism community. There have been many cases where children are attracted to the water and put in dangerous situations.

READ MORE: Lincoln teens save 7-year-old with autism from drowning

“Obviously it’s much easier to find an individual who has a tracking bracelet than to have a city wide search, and you don’t have to use the manpower and the search hours where the individual typically will be found safe and alive,” said Martinez.

Not only is this device accessible to children with autism, it can also be used for older adults and people with other disabilities.

Project lifesaver is a great tool to prevent tragedy. After hearing about the young boy who was saved in the pond just a few days ago, groups in Lincoln came up with an idea to further prevent incidents like this happening.

The incident is bringing attention to water safety, and two non-profits are working on ways to keep families in Lincoln educated.

In partnership with Josh the Otter, the Autism Family Network will develop a program that gives children with autism the opportunity to learn life saving skills in the water.

Not only are children with autism normally attracted to water, but Martinez says they are rarely given the tools to swim, or even taught water safety. That’s where these groups say there needs to be change.

“As a parent you want to do everything possible to help your kids and set them up for success. If we can do something to prevent any kind of tragedy, whether it’s drowning or accidents from happening, I’m all in,” said Josh the Otter Development Director, Sara Reyes.

The nonprofits are excited to team up, with the ultimate goal of bettering our community. The program will offer swim lessons and support for children with autism, in order to give them the resources they need.

This project is still in the works. The Autism Family Network and Josh the Otter have asked the community for help. If this is a project you are passionate about, both groups are always open to ideas and support.

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