GPS Tracking for Autistic Kids: Kevin and Avonte’s Law Passes

28 Mar 2018

Fourteen-year-old Trevyan Rowe’s bus driver dropped him off in front of the school just like every other morning. Sadly, Rowe suffers from autism, and this day was not like every other. His normal routine, which is very important to maintain for those high on the autism scale, was disrupted when he misplaced his phone. In confusion, Rowe simply walked away from his school building. Sadly, Rowe is not the first autistic child to simply wander off from safety and become lost.


This terrifying situation is a legitimate fear for millions of Americans whose loved ones are suffering from Alzheimer’s, autism, dementia or other mental conditions. The Journal of Pediatrics published one important study that revealed around one in three children with autism will wander off and become temporarily lost.

On November 2, 2017, the U.S. Senate passed Kevin and Avonte’s Law. This law was dedicated to two young autistic children who lost their lives when they wandered away from their caregivers. The law seeks to publicize and promote various initiatives that could reduce the risk of injury for wandering children. In addition, the law reauthorized the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program.


Kevin and Avonte’s Law will provide grants towards creating locating technology programs for the various individuals who wander away from caregivers. Innovative companies have already been working towards creating devices that would allow GPS tracking for autistic children. These GPS devices be worn or attached on a child’s clothing. Parents can monitor their children’s wear-a-bouts through a mobile app in real time.


Additionally, they can designate specific boundaries. If the child wanders outside of the boundary area, then an alert will immediately be sent to the phone’s app. When a child has wandered off, parents can activate “runner mode”. This mode will update the GPS device location every ten seconds to keep parents informed. Parents can determine whether the child is walking or traveling in a vehicle, and they can activate a special mode that allows them to listen in on their child’s situation. These devices can also be used on older individuals who suffer from conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.


Kevin and Avonte’s Law now goes to U.S. House of Representatives, where it will be considered.



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