Individuals with special needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) sometimes exhibit behavior such as running away or bolting from a caregiver, home or school setting. Such behavior is dangerous because these individuals do not understand danger and are oblivious to the need for caution (Saunders, 2006). Also, these individuals cannot always control their desires and thus bolt or run away (also often called eloping or elopement).
Questions have arisen concerning the behavior of elopement, running away, or bolting. According to research conducted by Bowen (2012), there is a difference between elopement and wandering and treatments for each have been developed (Bowen, M. 2012). This behavior does not happen to all individuals with ASD and research has shown measures that can be taken to decrease the behavior. This behavior cannot be eradicated in all individuals unfortunately. Studies have been performed to show whether elopement in individuals on the autism spectrum increases injury, death and if it is a burden for the families of these individuals. Anderson et al. (2012) showed that nearly half of the individuals with autism or those on the autism spectrum engaged in this behavior. This behavior was noted to be a risk to the lives of these individuals (Anderson et al., 2012). While this running away (bolting, elopement) is difficult to stop altogether, there is a need for methods to reduce it. Training is needed and should be shared with members in the family circle of the individuals with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and teachers, caregivers, and first responders (Anderson et al., 2012). In instances where elopement occurs, interventions are designed to help decrease the behavior (Lang et al., 2010). Research h...
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...perative. However, planning cannot occur if parents or caregivers are not aware of their options. Two methods that have been discussed are GPS or radio frequency tracking devices and therapy dogs. GPS and radio frequency tracking devices are becoming more available and have a quick response rate. Therapy dogs are becoming more popular for use with individuals with ASD. They assist not only the individual but also those in the individual’s circle, from family to friends to teachers.
Information made public on which method is more effective and available will help parents in the future decide how they want to address running, bolting or elopement in the individual with ASD. This information is vitally important for families and caregivers with individuals with ASD. Having and acting on this information could lead to a positive outcome when this type of behavior occurs.
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