Tips To Prevent Wandering In Autistic Children

Tips To Prevent Wandering In Autistic Children

Dealing with autism wandering, also known as elopement, in autistic children is a common concern for parents. It involves the child trying to leave a safe space, which can happen in public, at school, or even at home without the parents noticing. This behaviour poses serious risks, as it can lead to accidents or getting lost. Understanding why wandering happens is crucial for finding ways to keep your child safe. In this article, we'll delve into the reasons behind wandering and offer practical tips to help protect your child from potential dangers.

Why Do Children Wander? 

  • A Form Of Communication:

    Wandering may serve as a form of communication for the child. It could be their way of expressing needs, wants, likes, or dislikes. Additionally, wandering might occur when the child is experiencing sensory overload and seeks to escape uncomfortable situations.
  • Enjoyment Of Running And Exploration:

    Some children wander simply because they enjoy running and exploring their surroundings. They may find excitement in running or being chased by their caregivers.
  • Wanting To Get A Desired Item:

    Children may wander to obtain a desired item or visit a desired place. For instance, a child fascinated by cars might wander to a toy store to acquire a new toy car. Similarly, they may wander to a favourite location like a park or playground.

Managing Wandering: Practical Solutions  

  • Understanding Why Your Child Wanders:  

    Start by recording instances when your child wanders. Look for patterns or common triggers to better understand the reasons behind their wandering behaviour. Identifying these triggers can help you anticipate and prepare for future episodes.
  • Utilize Tracking Devices:  

    Explore tracking devices designed for the autism community or consider using specialised apps to monitor your child's movements. These tools can alert you if your child strays beyond a designated area, providing added peace of mind.
  • Consider Behavioral Therapy:

    Consult your child's doctor about behavioural therapy options to address wandering. Sometimes, underlying issues such as anxiety or sensory difficulties contribute to wandering behaviour. Targeted therapy can help manage these issues and reduce instances of wandering.
  • Implement Home Safety Measures:  

    Invest in home safety measures to prevent autism wandering incidents. Install a reliable security system and ensure that windows and doors are securely locked to minimize the risk of your child leaving the home unsupervised.
  • Teach Safety Skills:

    Work with your child's therapist to incorporate safety skills into their treatment plan. Basic skills such as responding to their name and knowing important phone numbers can empower your child to stay safe if they become lost and assist first responders during a wandering episode.


Experiencing wandering episodes can be distressing for both the child and the parents. If you find that wandering is becoming frequent for your child, reaching out to your child's psychologist for support and guidance is essential. It's crucial to remember that appropriate behavioural interventions and treatment options are available to help manage wandering behaviours effectively.

Additionally, it's important to understand that wandering is often a characteristic of autism and is not necessarily indicative of parenting styles. Be kind to yourself after a wandering episode and focus on finding strategies to prevent future occurrences. Take the time to understand why your child may wander and utilize that knowledge to implement preventive measures. With patience, support, and the right strategies in place, you can help ensure the safety and well-being of your child.

Another effective approach is to provide natural assistance, particularly during childhood. For example, Nurosmart Syrup by Nisarga Herbs is meticulously formulated to nurture cognitive health in children. This Ayurvedic brain tonic, enriched with natural ingredients, aids in diminishing hyperactivity while enhancing concentration. Offering a gentle and side-effect-free solution, Nurosmart Syrup facilitates improved brain development, catering to the needs of hyperactive children and those grappling with attention and memory challenges. Explore more similar products on the Nisarga Herbs’ website.

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Dr. Arati Soman

Dr. Arati Soman is a seasoned Ayurvedic physician and Head Formulator at Nisarga Herbs. Driven by a deep passion for Ayurveda and vast expertise, she has been instrumental in formulating medicines, diagnostic procedures, and innovative Ayurvedic treatments that are trusted globally.