A new study published in the journal Pediatrics reveals that nearly half of children diagnosed with autism in the United States tend to stray away from their homes and other safe places at least once and the time that they run away is long enough to cause concern. The study was led by Dr Paul Law, from Interactive Autism Network Project at Kennedy Krieger Institute, who surveyed parents of more than 1,200 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The researchers found that over 49 percent, or 598 kids, had tried to run away at least once and over 316 children had run away long enough, with an average time of 40 mins, to worry their parents.
“We have (long) heard from families of children with autism that their children often place themselves in danger by wandering or eloping. These are the first published findings in the United States that provide an estimate of the number of children with ASD who not only wander or elope, but go missing long enough to cause real concern”, Dr Law said.