Joseph ‘Joey’ Patterson who is 16 wandered away from his parents’ Wyoming home on November 10, 2019 and has not been seen since. Authorities from the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office are still on the search for him.
Authorities do not suspect foul play in Peterson’s disappearance and noted that the teen, who is 5’9″ and approximately 120 pounds, does not have any communication devices with him such as a cellphone.
Anyone with information on Peterson’s whereabouts is asked to call (307) 235-9300. Read more about the story on CNN here.
As a child with autism, I was also prone to wandering. I give talks on this topic often in the hopes of spreading awareness on this vital topic. Almost half of all children with autism in the United States wander from a safe environment and go missing as a result. For that reason I wanted to take a minute to stress the importance of these three areas for people with autism who are likely to wander from a safe environment…
Home safety – using locks and alarms where appropriate is crucially important. Take a minute to look at National Autism Association’s Big Red Safety Toolkit for additional resources.
Tracking devices – AngelSense for example is a device I’ve seen many families use to protect their families which has GPS capabilities incase your child is prone to wandering.
Swimming lessons – So many children with autism seem to be prone to water. Check out Autism Speaks toolkit on the Importance of Water Safety: Tips and Tools for resources.
My thoughts are with Joseph’s family at this time.