GPS devices to track children with autism?Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - If your child was known to wander, would you consider tracking their movements with a GPS device? It's a solution Fargo Police have suggested to the family of 9-year-old Draven Unterseher.
By: Katie Lange, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - If your child was known to wander, would you consider tracking their movements with a GPS device? It's a solution Fargo Police have suggested to the family of 9-year-old Draven Unterseher.
The autistic boy has wandered off three times in the past few months, including last night.
Losing a child could be considered a parent’s worst nightmare, but how far is too far when it comes to protecting them?
Lieutenant Joel Vettel with Fargo Police says it's a growing concern. One that has lead them to suggest GPS tracking to some families.
"We know that at the end of the day there is some expense and certainly some concern about the ethical issues involving putting GPS on a child."
But can you put a price on the life of a child?
Alex Malmaa- Local Reaction: "It will make it easier to go find them and make sure that they're safe and their well-being is looked after."
So, we posed the question to you on Facebook.
Christiane McMahon said," I don't know the first thing about how challenging it would be to care for an autistic child. But I believe the parents should be allowed to do whatever it takes to keep them safe and if that means a tracking device, then who am I to judge?"
Brad Riggle's response was also optimistic saying: “Speaking as a father, my son is autistic and so is my nephew. I think it would be a good idea, especially in an emergency case when they go wondering off; that way you can find them right away!"
Yet, it can come with concern that Big Brother may be watching.
Emily Hathaway- Local Reaction: "With the government, could they be tracking everywhere you go? That's a little scary."
Vettel says at the end of the day, it's all about safety, and by making these suggestions, they're merely looking out for the child's best interest.
Draven's Mom, Alexa Rinkenberger, wasn't available for an on-camera interview, but says she thinks putting a GPS tracking device on Draven is the best idea. As she fears he will continue to wander.
Vettel says the tracking devices have a set-up fee and also a monthly fee; some around $50.