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If your child does wander, an organized response is your best hope of getting your child home safely.


Family Wandering Emergency Plan: This plan (developed by AWAARE) includes critical information about your child, contact information for friends who will help coordinate search efforts and a list of places where your child is most likely to go.

First Responder Alert Form: This form (developed by AWAARE) contains information about your child that first responders can use in a search, including physical description, medical needs, communication style and likes/dislikes.

Child Identification Kit: This document (developed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) is less special-needs specific and available in English or Spanish.


State Identification Card: Older children who are more likely to carry a wallet regularly can benefit from keeping a state of Ohio identification card. You can apply for a card for any age child at any Ohio license bureau.

Autism ID Card: Also appropriate for older children who carry a wallet and who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the autism ID card can be presented to law enforcement or other first responders in the event that the person with autism is unable to communicate.

Medical Alert ID Bracelet: MedicAlert is the most well-recognized provider of engraved ID bracelets; however, there are a number of other alternatives including StickyJewelry and RoadID, who provide durable, comfortable and engraved identification at a reasonable cost.

Register: Provide information in advance to your local police department and/or a national registry, such as the Take Me Home or If I Need Help programs. If emergency personnel have your child's information readily available, they will be able to communicate it more quickly to search parties.

Tracking Devices

There are two main categories of tracking devices on the market today:

Bluetooth-Enabled Devices: Bluetooth devices (example) are relatively inexpensive and can be used to alert caregivers when a person moves out of a predefined "safe" range. These types of devices determine their location using a GPS-enabled "tethered" device (like your smart phone) and can be very useful if your child does not wander out of range of the tethered device.

GPS-Enabled Devices: GPS devices (example 1, example 2 and example 3) have their own GPS technology and therefore can operate anywhere that the devices can reach a satellite. Most of these devices have an up-front equipment cost and an additional monthly service cost to maintain GPS locating services.

Project Lifesaver (Lorain County): Members of local police departments and Lorain County Sheriff's office are trained in rescue operations and proper maintenance of equipment for Project Lifesaver in Lorain County. For more information on this program, download the brochure, email plsloraincounty@gmail.com or call 1-440-670-6250

Note: Technology changes frequently and new devices come to the market all the time. If you know of a product or service not listed here, please contact us so we can keep our families informed.

Additional Resources

Several organizations maintain additional resource lists with useful documents, identification options and tracking devices, including:

LifeBoks* (KultureCity)

Locating Devices and Other Wandering-Prevention Technology (Autism Speaks)

Safety Materials List (AWAARE)

Safety Products List (Autism Speaks)

10 Resources and Devices for Wandering Children with Autism (Friendship Circle)

* IMPORTANT NOTE FOR FAMILIES: LifeBoks is a free resource; however, applicants must share their story and a photo to apply. Per their privacy policy and terms of use (see photo/video/testimonial disclaimer), the story and photo become property of KultureCity and can be used as KultureCity sees fit.

Note: References to specific brand items are for information only. Connecting for Kids does not recommend or endorse any brand or device, nor does Connecting for Kids receive financial compensation from any of the above businesses.

Call, text or email:

Phone: 1-440-570-5908
Español: 1-440-907-9130
Email: info@connectingforkids.org


P.O. Box 45372
Westlake, Ohio 44145

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