Friday, March 23, 2012


I was sick for most of the winter. Being a mom of four, with two on the spectrum, juggling schoolwork, freelance writing, and working on other writing projects, this was inconvenient, to say the least.

After two rounds of antibiotics, seeing an ENT specialist, a CAT scan, and bloodwork to rule out Mono and Epstein-Barr, I found myself on the receiving end of an upper endoscopy, and having a microchip stuck to my esophagus. For the next two days, I get to wear a wireless device that measures my ph levels, which will hopefully help my doctor figure out what to do with me.

My directions for the wireless system is that I have to press the appropriate button for the symptoms on the unit ( about the size of a beeper), write in the diary what times I eat or lay down, and keep the unit within three feet of me AT ALL TIMES.

If I don't, it will alarm.

It made me think of how this this technology can be used for kids with Autism.

My experience with my kids on the spectrum, is that they are FAST! I have literally turned my head for under ten seconds, and they were gone from sight. Our daughter's autistic support class has even implemented a specialized door system,effectively preventing elopement on their watch.

There simply is nothing scarier for a parent of a non-verbal child. They cannot tell someone their name, phone number, or parents' names. Non verbal kids in the spectrum cannot tell a police officer that they are lost. I have seen several stories in recent years about children with Autism Spectrum Disorders wandering off, in the middle of the night in the city, or out into swampy wildness for DAYS. Not all of these stories end with a happily ever after...

I wonder what others think about privacy issues, and even the process of insertion of a device that may make their children safer.

My chip...I don't feel it. It doesn't bother me. The only reason I know it is there, is because someone told me it is there, and I can see the ph numbers changing on the beeper like unit.

Would a cross-breed device, a "pet type chip" along with a gps wireless monitor (that alarms if your child wanders out of range) improve the quality (read:safety) for non verbal children (and even adults with ASD,or even Alzheimer's) benefit from such technology?

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