Dad creates device to help parents of wandering special needs kids
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
Parents of children with autism are likely familiar with a common problem. Often, children on the autism spectrum will wander off.
In Oklahoma, people have felt the heartbreaking impact of wandering, with the death of Damion Davidson. Davidson, just 8-years-old, was found drowned in a creek in Duncan on June 25, two weeks after he went missing.
Doron Somer has an autistic son, and know what it's like for the family in Duncan.
His son, Itamar, is now 19-years-old. Somer said he has had a problem with wandering for years.
"On the wandering front, we just never had peace of mind," Somer said. "You never know where he's going to go and you're very concerned that something would really happen to him."
Not satisfied with any of the solutions or help that was available to him, to help with his son, Somer decided to take matters into his own hands. He created the New Jersey-based AngelSense, with special needs families in mind.
"This is really a very unique community and you have to give this community a very specialized service," he said.
AngelSense allows parents to get wearable GPS devices that allows them to track their child. The device will send text alerts to let parents know where children are and send alerts if they are somewhere they are not supposed to be.
The device also lets parents listen in, if they suspect their child is in danger.
There is a need to help parents on this front. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports nearly half of all children with autism will wander off before they turn 17. The National Autism Association reports 32-wandering fatalities in 2015. Like in Duncan, many of those deaths will come from drowning, as many autistic children are drawn to water.