Families of children with autism have more than their shares of worry and frustration. Most want to do whatever they can to keep their child safe while helping them learn independence. Even with a strong effort to supervise these kids, wandering off is common. Many parents whose children have autism admit their child has wandered away and caused worry. A former newswoman and parent of a teen with autism has designed sensory friendly clothes with GPS.
What are GPS Clothes Like?
So far, the designs of the actual clothes are fairly neutral. The options include rugby shirts, tunics, cargo pants, leggings, capris and simple dresses. Since sensory sensitivities are also common, the clothes were designed to lay comfortably against the skin and do not have any zippers, button, or tags that can cause irritation. The clothes are also reversible, so there is no chance of leaving the house with clothes on backwards. The actual GPS tracker is two inches long and is under an ounce in weight, and can be slipped into a soft pocket in the clothing. The tracker is light enough and cushioned enough that it won’t bother the most sensitive kid. They don’t even need to know they are carrying a tracker. It also increases safety because anyone who would potentially harm the child would also be unaware of its existence.
Since the idea of trackable clothing is new, the clothing line may or may not retain its original policy to offer the GPS unit free, but charge a monthly fee to actually use it. They are considering an option of a one time fee that would eliminate the monthly bill. For some families in some areas there is a possibility of having some or all of the subscription fee waived if cost is an issue. Even without using the GPS option, many children with autism are more comfortable in these clothes than others. Independent dressing is also easier to achieve.
Other Tracking Options
Trackable clothing isn’t the first attempt to help keep tabs on a child with autism, but it may be the most comfortable. Wrist bands with GPS tracking have been tried, but since children are less likely to keep them on they are easily lost, and it then becomes more likely that the child may get lost as well.
Other Paths to Independence
Having clothes available that help keep a child with autism from getting lost or hurt is a big relief to many parents who are ready to use any tool available that can help enrich their child’s life. With 1 in 68 children being born with autism there is a definite market for gadgetry that can make life a little easier for these families, but no gadget or piece of clothing carries all the answers. The right education and treatment path helps many children with autism understand that wandering is something that causes those who care about them to worry.
At Reaching Milestones, we assess each child in our programs to find out what their unique strengths and challenges are, and through a structured program qualified teachers, psychologists, and psychiatrists work to find the proper approach for learning so that each child can enjoy the freedom that comes from living up to their potential. Reaching Milestones is located in several places in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Parents who have children with autism can take their first steps toward training by scheduling a professional evaluation.