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Wandering is a real danger for those with autism

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A missing child is an awful experience for any parent, but it can be even worse for those whose children are autistic. This year in the United States more than a dozen children have died while wandering on their own.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A missing child is an awful experience for any parent, but it can be even worse for those whose children are autistic. This year in the United States more than a dozen children have died while wandering on their own.

Cheryl Vance, mother of 12-year-old Hunter who lives with severe autism, must always remain alert. “I’ve never been more scared in my life when I’ve lost my child,” Vance said.

“We're doing everything we can because he's getting smarter.”

If he gets through locked doors in the house, his mom also has a tracker that can find him anywhere in the United States and she has ironed his name and her number on every one of his T-shirts.

The National Autism Association reports that wandering is among the top causes of death for the autism population.

“They just seem to come to the world programmed in a way that leads them to not be as interested in people,” said Dr. Sam Goldstein, psychologist.

Despite the challenges of raising Hunter, Vance says he's probably taught her just as much as they are teaching him.

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