[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Wandering Technology in the Spotlight at Autism Investment Conference
Date: March 04, 2014
Autism Speaks showcases promising devices and services that can help families manage autism-related wandering
Researchers, product developers and investors met to showcase and discuss innovative technology for managing autism-related wandering at a special session of the Autism Speaks Autism Investment Conference, in San Francisco today.
Close to half of children with autism wander from safety. Wandering is likewise a danger among many adults with autism. More than a third of these individuals can’t communicate their name, address or phone number. And many lack a clear sense of danger or an understanding of how to interact with police and other emergency responders.
For all these reasons, autism-related wandering puts tremendous stress on families and entire communities – too often with tragic results, said session moderator Dave Kearon (pictured left), Autism Speaks assistant director of adult services. Prevention and response require multi-faceted approaches with significant emphasis on education of first responders and other community members, Kearon stressed.
“Many families have found that technology such as locating devices is helpful,” he said. “So while we know this approach doesn’t work for everyone, we hope that by connecting device developers and other entrepreneurs with the investment community, these devices can become part of a comprehensive wandering prevention strategy.”
Kearon introduced two special guests who served as the showcase’s educators and advisors:
Maureen Heads, of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, highlighted the center’s new partnership with Autism Speaks. Read more about this vital collaboration here.
Gene Saunders, founder and CEO of Project Lifesaver International, described his organization’s mission to help communities launch speedy rescues in response to autism- and dementia-related wandering. The organization partners with local law enforcement and public safety organizations to train search teams. It also equips individuals at risk of wandering with wristbands that emit an identifying radio frequency. The program has produced more than 1,800 successful searches, Saunders said. Most individuals are found within a few miles of home, with an average rescue time of 30 minutes. That’s nearly half the average time of a standard search.
The session’s company showcase featured four innovative approaches to wandering prevention and response:
Lauren Thierry, founder of Independence Day Clothing, described her line of adaptive clothing with “hidden helpers” that reduce dressing time and stress. The clothing comes with optional, built-in GPS. Its motto: “No Tags. No Buttons. No Zippers. No worries.”
Tony Fama, president and CEO of iLoc Technologies, described how his son, who has autism, wandered from the family at a crowded theme park in 2009. He was eventually found safe. But the stressful experience launched a company dedicated to developing affordable wandering solutions. The firm’s TRiLOC GPS Locator is a wristband device that broadcasts location over a cellular network.
John Harris, of eTrak, described his firm’s wearable location device, which allows caregivers to draw boundaries around safe locations. When the person wearing the device roams beyond the safe zone, the caregiver receives an alert that includes directions to the location.
Saul Bienenfeld, of Trackimo, showcased the company’s device of the same name. Compact and equipped with a long-lasting battery, the device offers worldwide locating service via the Trackimo website.
“We desperately need actionable steps for preventing and responding effectively to wandering incidents,” Kearon said in thanking the participants. “Autism Speaks is proud to shine a spotlight on how your innovative products can help address this alarming challenge.”
More With Autism Investment Conference
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.