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05Nov2015

Trust for a Lifetime: Mother Keeps Her Autistic Boys Safe with GPS

 

Merrick, N.Y- Two years ago 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo walked out of his school in Queens. His body was found later in the East River after months.

A mother with special needs children in Nassau County is using GPS to track her children.

"I haven't slept in my own bed for about the past four years because I'm so terrified he's going to run off and I'm not going to hear him in time," said Dayann McDonough, a Merrick resident.

She has to worry about her 8-year-old Donovan along with her 10-year-old son Douglass, who has autism as well as a tendency to run away.

"You can have an alarm and all that's going to do is let you know your child left but not where your child is," Dayann said.

But now GPS helps Dayann McDonough and her husband to track the boys. The system also notifies the location of the boys.

"The bus went down and dropped him off at school," Dayann said.

 The system sends parents alerts. It's called "Angel Sense".

"I'll be at work. I'll get a text. Douglass just left home and then you go on the app and it says Douglass is in transit, and then you get another alert Douglass arrived at school," said Brian McDonough, the boys' father.

"Right now he's at school, so we can click on school and it shows Old Mill Road," Brian said. "If he steps out of that circle we get an alert, Douglass just left school."

But there can be location which doesn’t have good cell service and GPS won’t work as well. This is where the special feature called "listen in" can be used. It helps parents to listen to their children and who they are with.

"Maybe he's by the water, maybe he's by the train yard," Brian said.

The device can be detached from the child’s cloth using a magnetic key which is available only for parents. Stop worrying about your child’s safety

When asked about the experience she had with the system, Mrs Douglass McDonough confirmed that she feels safe with the new technology.

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