We are working to get an alert in place
which will be known as the "Mason Alert". Unlike the Amber Alert, this
alert would be geared toward autistic children and adults. When a
normal child disappears, most of the time the reasons are benign. They
went to one friends house instead of the one they were suppose to go to,
they went to the park instead of going straight home, ect., ect.
an autistic child wanders or disappears, the immediate response should
be a heightened state of awareness, and an instant realization of the
danger that child is most definitely in. Due to their condition, all
autistic children to one degree or another lack the ability to recognize
They will walk into a busy intersection,
despite traffic. They will walk through an open front door, not
knowing if a predator is on the other side. They will hide in tight,
enclosed spaces, not realizing the danger of suffocation or heat stroke.
They will walk down a mile of railroad tracks, not realizing the train
they love so much can kill them, and they will wade into the middle of a
muddy pond, never thinking that they can't breath the muddy water.
are hoping that the "Mason Alert" will help to educate authorities and
also provide them with EVERYTHING they need to help us when one of our
children escape. Many people may say, "Escape? How can that happen if
the child is really being supervised?"
me just say this. Since my son died, I have been contacted by hundreds
of parents of Autistic children, and not one of them have asked me that
question. Just because a child is autistic doesn't mean he or she isn't
brilliant and creative in his or her own way, and the number one outlet
seems to be figuring out every safety lock ever invented. You put one
type of lock on your door, and within a couple weeks you are out buying
something else because your baby figured out that he can un-slide that
lock with a broom, or if you push both sides together you can get the
knob to turn. A normal child learns limits as they grow. They learn
that leaving the house without mom and dad could mean they might get
hurt. Unfortunately, that is a very difficult lesson to teach an
We want the Mason Alert to immediately provide authorities with the following:
A current picture of the child.
Child's address and Contact information.
Their facinations: i.e. railroads, small spaces, water
Locations of all nearby hazards such as tracks, pools, ponds, abandoned houses, busy intersections.
if the child is verbal or nonverbal. This is very important, because
when we search for someone, we tend to stand in one place and shout the
person's name. A nonverbal child won't respond to this AT ALL. When I
arrived home, the police were shouting Mason's name. I could have been
standing right beside him, shouting his name and not gotten a response.
How the child reacts under stress. i.e. do they hide, do they run, do they fight, do they shut down and just stand still.
finally, how to approach the child and who needs to approach the
child. In some instances, authorities will just have to immediately
react if the child is in immediate danger, but in other instances, it
might be better to wait for a parent or caregiver, and taking this step
might help eliminate danger.
Please sign the petition for the Mason Alert by filling out the above form. Your information will be kept confidential. I will however share any of the comments that help show the need for this alert. If you do not wish your comments to be seen by anyone other my family, please include that in your message.
signing and passing this around, you may just be saving someone's
baby. I wish that this had been in place for my son. Instead of
holding him in my arms each night and loving him, I kiss his picture and
say a prayer and go to bed crying. I don't want any other mother to