The National Autism Association is hosting a Capitol Hill briefing on Autism & Wandering on Tuesday, May 19th, in Washington, DC.

Sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the briefing will address the dangers of wandering and the need for federal resources that could come from passing Avonte’s Law.

According to a 2012 study in Pediatrics, 49% of children with autism engage in wandering behaviors, often with fatal consequences. This week, a boy with autism was killed by a train after wandering from his home in Alabama. Last week, a girl with a developmental disability died in Florida after wandering from her backyard into a nearby retention pond.

According to the National Autism Association, 15% of autism-related wandering cases in recent years have ended in death.


Event speakers will include:

Scott Badesch, president/chief executive officer, The Autism Society

Robert Lowery, Jr., vice president, Missing Children Division, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Scott Martin, director, SafetyNet Division of LoJack Corporation; State Police Captain (Retired), Connecticut State Police

Lori McIlwain, co-founder and board chairperson, National Autism Association

Special video remarks by Danny Oquendo, brother of Avonte Oquendo



Capitol Hill Briefing on Autism & Wandering:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

1:00pm to 2:30pm

Russell Senate Building, Room 485

RSVP by 05/15/15 to



In response to the rise in wandering incidents and fatalities in the autism community, the National Autism Association began working on the wandering issue in 2007.

Since that time, NAA has analyzed over 400 wandering cases, donated $100,000 in Project Lifesaver tracking equipment, provided more than 17,000 safety boxes to autism families across the country, and created At NAA’s request, a medical diagnostic code for autism-related wandering went into effect in 2011. The group also requested the Pediatrics study.

For information about wandering prevention, visit


NAA Briefing ASD Wandering[2]