The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) raises awareness about missing children on the autism spectrum because of the rates they go missing and are recovered deceased, most often from drowning. In a 10-year analysis from 2011 to 2020, 1,516 children on the autism spectrum were reported missing to NCMEC. That report found that 4% of reported missing children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were recovered deceased. In 70% of those cases, the manner of death was classified as accidental, 84% of which were drownings. Time is of the essence in finding and safely recovering a missing child on the autism spectrum. Based on the data, NCMEC has developed a wide range of free resources to support those responding to missing children on the autism spectrum.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has recently launched a new course for public safety telecommunicators to assist in the safe recovery of missing children with autism. This includes the need for timely alerts to authorities and communities that a child is missing and endangered.

In this webinar, participants will learn about NCMEC’s data, free resources, and recommendations related to missing children on the autism spectrum. In addition, participants will learn about FDLE’s training, promising practices, and the positive outcomes of its Missing Child Alert Program.