Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Praying for the Parents, Preparing for the Worst

In local news, a nine-year-old boy in Brooklyn had asked to walk home from day camp for the first time, and his mother was waiting for him seven blocks from camp. Somewhere on those seven blocks, he was abducted. Police and the entire Hasidic community of Borough Park spent two days searching for him.

Today, his dismembered remains were found. If you want the gruesome details, read this article - it's too upsetting for me to repeat.

My thoughts, of course, are with little Leiby Kletzky's family. I can't imagine how one goes on with her life after such a tragedy.

The media are reporting that the Leiby had autism. This makes me wonder if autism made him more susceptible to abduction. Was he less able than a typical child to sense that the assailant he encountered was dangerous because of his social deficits? Was he more trusting? Did he get distracted on his way home?

Kids with autism are prone to wandering off (they call this "elopement" but it's not very romantic) and often have a limited sense of danger, so abduction is a very real concern. There are special techniques to teach ASD children how to handle stranger danger, but I'm not sure who offers this training.

Here are some resources worth looking into to protect your ASD child:

- About.com's tips to reduce the danger to your child.
- ID jewelery (though I can't imagine my kid actually keeping an ID bracelet on.)
- Personal tracking devices: see eSpecialNeeds, Amber Alert GPS, or Care Trak.
- Project Lifesaver's tracking system and training for first responders

4 comments:

  1. This whole story made me sick. I know my son would go with anyone as he is so trusting. I pray that family finds peace. I cant even handle the whole story.

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  2. It's a sick person that would take and kill an innocent. Liebby, you didn’t make it to moon in this lifetime, but with your outstretched arm, you’ve slipped the surly bonds of earth and gone to touch the face of God. RIP

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  3. That's Horrible!

    Recently our OT told me that he doesn't think my son has any danger receptors. I wasn't sure how to take that, what does he mean? Yes our child is Autistic and runs off and loves scary rides, will go with anyone that says for him to go with them without saying a word... it all seems fine and good when you are thinking that the people that give him direction are family and Friends, I think he would probably go with anyone...any way back to danger..about a week after that conversation with the OT my little boy lit my room on fire with a lighter during nap! It was such a wake up call... We are still working on how to cement that into his head but I am sure at this point it will have to be an every day conversation..."do we go with people we have never seen before? Do we dart across the street without mom or dad? Fire is Dangerous!

    Thank you for posting this reminder!

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  4. Wow, this breaks my heart. I have to say my one daughter with autism doesn't have normal danger receptors. The other day she went to wash her hands and it was on hot, she said ow but just left her hands under the water, didn't think to move them out of the flow of water. That really scared me, I know it is just a little thing but it opened my eyes as to how she can get into dangerous situations and not react properly

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Keep it civil, people.