Whenever a child is reported missing, the only thing you can hope for is that the child is found and returned to his/her family safely. No one in their right frame of mind would ever wish the worse for a child.
Unfortunately, Avonte Oquendo of New York wasn’t so fortunate. On October 14th, Avonte, 14-years-old and autistic went missing. As you can imagine, a massive search went out to find Avonte. People were searching homes, subway tunnels, and wherever possible. There was even a public address system at subway stations in search of him.
In January, sad news was announced that Avonte was found in the East River, several miles from where he had vanished. To make matters worse, Avonte had a form of autism that made him nonverbal.
After the tragic incident involving Avonte, New York Senator, Chuck Schumer (D) named a law after Avonte Oquendo saying, ‘thousands of families face the awful reality each and every day that their child with autism may run away. Making voluntary tracking devices available will help put parents at ease, and most importantly, help prevent future tragedies like Avonte’s.’
The voluntary tracking device that Schumer proposed would attach to shoelaces, anklets, wristwatches, and even on belt loops. The cost of these devices would range from $80 to $90. Schumer first mentioned his plan shortly after Oqueudo disappeared in November.
When asked what they thought about this proposal, Avonte’s mother and grandmother were not available to speak. They had just buried their loved one and were in no position to make any comments.
The disappearance of Avonte brought national attention to those who are autistic and missing. Without any type of tracking device, who knows what may happen to other autistic children. At least this proposal is a step in the right direction. Even though Avonte has transitioned from this earthly world, let’s not forget his life and let’s seek to help parents of altruistic children. No one should have to suffer like the family of Avonte.
Source: News One
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, activist, published author of (5) books, life coach, and liberator of persons from all intellectual, social and cultural walks of life. He is a committed advocate for change. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @drsinclairgrey. Visit his website: www.sinclairgrey.org