Quantcast

Mother of Autistic Child Says Wandering Off is Common - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Mother of Autistic Child Says Wandering Off is Common

Posted: Updated:

Preliminary autopsy results show 11-year-old Anthony Kuznia drowned in the Red River. It took 26 hours for emergency crews to find Anthony's body in the river yesterday after he disappeared Wednesday afternoon. His grandmother called police within just 10 minutes of him going missing but the boy was already too far away and couldn't be found. Today Valley News team's Eric Crest spoke with a mother of an autistic child about how all too often children with autism wander off and how more public understanding can help parents.

Autistic children like Oaklee Larsen can have a hard time taking cue's from their parents. I suppose they're like most kids in that respect.

"A lot of kids throw temper tantrums in grocery stores. You get the looks. All parents do. But for my son it could be something different. It could be the lights are too bright or It's way too loud in there," says Oaklee's mother Sarah Larsen.

Oaklee was diagnosed with autism at just 8 months old. At two and a half years old now his mother has reached out to autism support groups so that she can better understand what to expect. What she's learned is a lot of kids with autism can wander off.

"One woman her child ran off when she was just shuffling cards. Last summer my son ran off when I went inside to grab a sweatshirt. I mean thirty seconds is all it took," says Larsen.

After hearing the news yesterday of another child with autism who wandered off and made it into the Red River, Larsen's heart just sank.

"When I heard last night I was at work and I was balling my eyes out," says Larsen.

Because even if someone might have seen a child wandering without an adult prior to the search crews searching near the Red River. That doesn't always mean strangers act on their instincts.

"I know of families that their child has wandered off to the park and neighbors have seen them and just assumed the child was allowed to be there by themselves," says Larsen.

Many parents deal with the problem of wandering children but being in a rural area presents it's own challenges for parents with autistic children. Because out near Larsen's home there is water everywhere, the woods are empty, and odds are if your child doesn't respond to your voice it's hard to find them.

"If he's running and going after something he wants... it's the concept of the mind. He's so focused on that one thing... that my husband and I can be screaming stop, no, don't ... and he wouldn't understand," says Larsen.

If you see something out of the norm say something and try to understand that not all kids are built the same way.

"People need to be aware that this is very common it happens so easily and it takes seconds," says Larsen.

We talked with an autism specialist at Prairie Saint John's this afternoon and they told us every child with autism has a unique condition. There's no telling if a child who has autism will take direction from an adult or not. It's always a safe bet to call the police if you see a child wandering by themselves.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Kraft Foods Recall

    Kraft Foods Recall

    Kraft Foods is recalling about 96,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners because the product may contain a different type of hot dog product in the packaging. The USDA says some Classic Cheese Dogs were mixed into those packages. The agency says that may be dangerous to customers with food allergies. The Classic Cheese Dogs were made with pasteurized cheese, containing the known allergen milk.The following products are subject to recall:• 16 oz. packages -individual consumer packages- of ...
    Kraft Foods is recalling about 96,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners because the product may contain a different type of hot dog product in the packaging. The USDA says some Classic Cheese Dogs were mixed into those packages. The agency says that may be dangerous to customers with food allergies. The Classic Cheese Dogs were made with pasteurized cheese, containing the known allergen milk.The following products are subject to recall:• 16 oz. packages -individual consumer packages- of ...
  • Two Injured in DUI Crash

    Two Injured in DUI Crash

    A Grand Forks man has been arrested for DUI after injuring himself and one other in a crash early Sunday morning. The Grand Forks Police Department says Charles Engen, 48, was driving a Ford F150 through the intersection of 28th Avenue South and South Washington Street when he hit a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Jessica Borowicz, 27, of Grand Forks was driving the Monte Carlo. The crash happened just after 2 am.An ambulance took Borowicz to the hospital for minor injuries.Engen faces DUI charges.The...
    A Grand Forks man has been arrested for DUI after injuring himself and one other in a crash early Sunday morning. The Grand Forks Police Department says Charles Engen, 48, was driving a Ford F150 through the intersection of 28th Avenue South and South Washington Street when he hit a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Jessica Borowicz, 27, of Grand Forks was driving the Monte Carlo. The crash happened just after 2 am.An ambulance took Borowicz to the hospital for minor injuries.Engen faces DUI charges.The...
  • Head on Collision Injures Two

    Head on Collision Injures Two

    Two drivers were hurt in a headon collision in Otter Tail County Saturday night.The Minnesota State Patrol says Jacquelyn Burrows, 63, of Pelican Rapids, was seriously injured. Troopers say Kelsey Laugen, 18, of Elk River, was hurt with non-life threatening injuries.According to an agency report, Burrows was traveling North on Highway 59 near 450th Street when she crossed the center line and hit Laugen head on. It happened at about 8:45 Saturday night.
    Two drivers were hurt in a headon collision in Otter Tail County Saturday night.The Minnesota State Patrol says Jacquelyn Burrows, 63, of Pelican Rapids, was seriously injured. Troopers say Kelsey Laugen, 18, of Elk River, was hurt with non-life threatening injuries.According to an agency report, Burrows was traveling North on Highway 59 near 450th Street when she crossed the center line and hit Laugen head on. It happened at about 8:45 Saturday night.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNowAll content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Valley News Live. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.