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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Hamilton, Ontario - June 16, 2022
We are heartbroken over the loss of Draven Graham, an autistic boy who was sadly found deceased in the Scugog River on June 13th. Our thoughts and condolences go to his family and friends. We also thank the volunteers, law enforcement officers and emergency response crews for their efforts to find him.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), 1 in 66 children and youth aged 5-17 years were diagnosed with ASD in 2015.
For reasons not well understood, autistic individuals are prone to wandering away from a safe environment. According to a 2017 study in the US, "nearly half of children with ASD were reported to engage in elopement behavior". In addition, more than one third who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number.
Due to this recent tragic event, there have been several petitions and calls to implement a province-wide alert system to notify first line responders and the public of a missing autistic individual.
Balance SSCS supports looking to find solutions that will not only keep autistics but all disabled and vulnerable individuals safe. We are also available to take part in those discussions and advocacy efforts.
For more information, please contact our team at balanceSSCS@gmail.com
Balance Support & Self Care Studios was created with parents and caregivers of individuals with diverse needs in mind. We recognize the value of the staff and community. We are committed to striving for excellence through inclusiveness, team collaboration, quality of services, and the participation and contributions of volunteers and community members. To learn more, please check out our website
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