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The pros and cons of tracking autistic children with GPS devices

by GPS4US 2013-09-18 13:34

Is tracking autistic children with GPS devices the right way to go?

Fargo, N.D. television station WDAY asked just that question recently, and was greeted with a mixed response on their Facebook page.

The issue at hand is this: some autistic children are prone to wandering off, away from the protection of their parents or guardians. A representative from the Fargo Police Department, Lieutenant Joel Vettel, told WDAY that, despite some cost and ethical concerns, the department sometimes suggests GPS tracking for autistic children.

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,” Vettel said.

It’s a sticky issue, to be sure. But still, it’s another example of the usefulness of GPS technology. Ultimately, Vettel said, GPS tracking is the best way to keep potentially wandering children safe.

One Facebook responder raised some concerns.

With the government, could they be tracking everywhere you go? That's a little scary," she said.

Two more came out in favor of tracking.

“…I believe the parents should be allowed to do whatever it takes to keep them safe,” said one, “and if that means a tracking device, then who am I to judge?"


Speaking as a father, my son is autistic and so is my nephew,” said another. “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."

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