By Harriette Halepis
Whether or not tracking a child using a GPS tracker is a violation of human rights is debatable. But, what happens when the child being tracked is autistic and has a history of wandering away? Two cases of this type recently made headline news across the globe.
One autistic eleven year old girl in Florida spent a number of nights in an alligator-infested swamp after wandering away from home. Another fifteen year old boy walked away from his home in Alberta, Canada, in the middle of the winter wearing nothing but a t-shirt and shorts. In both instances, the parents of these children are now investing in GPS trackers.
In fact, the Autism Society of Edmonton, Canada, has started to hand out GPS tracking devices to parents of autistic children. GPS trackers seem to be one way to prevent autistic children from getting in harm’s way while wandering away from home. While many human rights activists see this type of tracking as a violation of privacy, parents of autistic children often feel as though they have no choice.
While keeping tabs on most children is difficult, trying to follow the movements of a child who has autism is nearly impossible. Many of these children wander away from home during evening hours, and some simply wander away from public places never to be seen again. A GPS tracking bracelet could give the parents of autistic children peace of mind, while allowing their children a larger amount of freedom.
Even though a GPS tracking bracelet is a valid solution to keeping an eye on a child who wanders, there are some things that parents should be aware of before purchasing a GPS tracking device. Certain manufacturers sell personal information to other companies, and some GPS networks are not secure. Any parent considering the purchase of a GPS tracker for an autistic child should make sure to purchase this type of device from a reputable retailer.
Otherwise, preventing autistic children from dangerously wandering away from home is a great way to allow a child the freedom of movement without worrying about a child’s safety. Tracking an autistic child is not a violation of human rights; it’s merely a way to save a human life. GPS tracking devices can be worn as necklaces, bracelets, anklets, or placed inside of a pocket.