Vacationing With a Wanderer Demands Planning

One mother took a picture of her son every morning so if he got lost she could show people what he was wearing that day

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FRIDAY, March 23 , 2012 (HealthDay News) -- Traveling with a child who is prone to "autism wandering" poses more than the usual challenges of taking a family vacation.

Leslie Welch, of Raleigh, N.C., and her family visited Disney World when her son Josh, who has autism, was 5. They managed the outing with the aid of a well-detailed, daily security routine.

"We used a backpack leash even though it was way too small for him," Welch recalled. "I took his picture on my phone every morning [so if he got lost] I could show people what he was wearing that day."

She dressed him "in really bright clothes so he would stand out in a crowd" and made laminated ID cards because he's nonverbal. "I punched them with a hole puncher and tied them to his shoelaces," she recalled.

"I call it an achievement vacation," she said.

More information

AWAARE (Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response and Education) offers a wealth of resources on wandering.

SOURCE: Leslie Welch, Raleigh, N.C.

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