WXXI AM News

Community conversation to offer tips to keep autistic students safe

Mar 12, 2018

Credit marycariola.org

Late Monday afternoon, Rochester Police said that the Monroe County Medical Examiner has confirmed that the body pulled from the Genesee River on Sunday is that of 14 year old Trevyan Rowe.

In the wake of the death of Rowe, who had autism, the Mary Cariola Children's Center is planning to host an event later this month designed to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

Superintendent Christine Sheffer says Cariola staff educate and care for children with autism every day.

"A community conversation, tips and strategies for keeping students with autism safe at school," she said. "We will also spend a little bit of time talking about recovery plans in place somebody does go missing, so it would be appropriate for that same group, teachers, administrators and parents."

Sheffer says the event will have tips for educators on identifying which students need "elopement" prevention plans, and strategies to make sure those students know the important staying in an assigned location.

She says she didn't know Trevyan, but a common issue among young people with autism is a tendency to wander.

"Statistics say perhaps about 40 percent of students with autism may wander or run away at certain times and under certain situations," she said.

Mary Cariola Children's Center will host "Key Considerations for Working With Students Who May Elope or Wander," on Thursday, March 22nd.

The event is open to parents, teachers and other school staff and anyone who is interested to hear about strategies that help keep students with autism safe at school.