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Thread: Avonte Oquendo Still Missing

  1. #1
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    Avonte Oquendo Still Missing

    Surprised and saddened this hasn't been posted in the past two weeks. Short story is the non-verbal autistic teen walked out of school and hasn't been seen since. Knowing how these types of stories usually turn out for autistics, I don't have high-hopes for his safe return, but I hope to hell I am wrong. All too often these kids find water and bad things happen. This is the reason that certain groups tried desperately to have absconding added to the diagnostic criteria.

    Our daughter hasn't tried running out of the house in years, but she's starting to flex her independence muscles a bit, so new safety measures may be in order. This situation is possibly the worst one parents like us can imagine. And unlike regular kiddos who can usually navigate the simple tasks of staying in school until dismissal or boarding the bus, not so with ours. That's why they are to have para-professionals assigned to them, usually all day. Where Avonte's was is anyone's guess. Also not sure why Kelly is giving the school SAFETY officer a pass for letting a special needs kid leave the school.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    Surprised and saddened this hasn't been posted in the past two weeks. Short story is the non-verbal autistic teen walked out of school and hasn't been seen since. Knowing how these types of stories usually turn out for autistics, I don't have high-hopes for his safe return, but I hope to hell I am wrong. All too often these kids find water and bad things happen. This is the reason that certain groups tried desperately to have absconding added to the diagnostic criteria.

    Our daughter hasn't tried running out of the house in years, but she's starting to flex her independence muscles a bit, so new safety measures may be in order. This situation is possibly the worst one parents like us can imagine. And unlike regular kiddos who can usually navigate the simple tasks of staying in school until dismissal or boarding the bus, not so with ours. That's why they are to have para-professionals assigned to them, usually all day. Where Avonte's was is anyone's guess. Also not sure why Kelly is giving the school SAFETY officer a pass for letting a special needs kid leave the school.
    Was in NYC all last weekend and saw the signs all over the city. Heartbreaking stuff.

  3. #3
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    I thought of you when I first heard this story. Has to be every parents worst nightmare. People drop off their kids at school and take for granted that they are going to safely return. Sadly, with incidents like this and Newtown we have come to the realization that this is not always the case.

    I am not aware of the entire story but did the security guard actually see the child and let them leave? If that is the case then he should be held with some responsibility in this. I also wonder where his aide was.

    Very sad. Hoping for a miracle here but it definitely looks grim. Maybe a silver lining in all of this will be raised awareness and changes to school protocols and how we treat these kids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    Surprised and saddened this hasn't been posted in the past two weeks. Short story is the non-verbal autistic teen walked out of school and hasn't been seen since. Knowing how these types of stories usually turn out for autistics, I don't have high-hopes for his safe return, but I hope to hell I am wrong. All too often these kids find water and bad things happen. This is the reason that certain groups tried desperately to have absconding added to the diagnostic criteria.

    Our daughter hasn't tried running out of the house in years, but she's starting to flex her independence muscles a bit, so new safety measures may be in order. This situation is possibly the worst one parents like us can imagine. And unlike regular kiddos who can usually navigate the simple tasks of staying in school until dismissal or boarding the bus, not so with ours. That's why they are to have para-professionals assigned to them, usually all day. Where Avonte's was is anyone's guess. Also not sure why Kelly is giving the school SAFETY officer a pass for letting a special needs kid leave the school.
    I knew there was a reason I liked you. Hang in man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    I thought of you when I first heard this story. Has to be every parents worst nightmare. People drop off their kids at school and take for granted that they are going to safely return. Sadly, with incidents like this and Newtown we have come to the realization that this is not always the case.

    I am not aware of the entire story but did the security guard actually see the child and let them leave? If that is the case then he should be held with some responsibility in this. I also wonder where his aide was.

    Very sad. Hoping for a miracle here but it definitely looks grim. Maybe a silver lining in all of this will be raised awareness and changes to school protocols and how we treat these kids.
    From what I understand, the school safety officer told Avonte to go back to class, but that was about it from what I understand. The aide not being around is scary. Part of the blame for that goes to the DOE as they have an unofficial policy of switching aides after a year or so, which when you think about it is utterly ridiculous. As is the case with so many with autism, routinized patterns are very important, more so with those that are non-verbal. Makes the practice about as sound as taking away a parent.

    Quote Originally Posted by RMJK View Post
    I knew there was a reason I liked you. Hang in man.
    Thank you, pal.

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    I read somewhere recently that technology has advanced to the point where you can implant a homing/location device in a person's arm or leg.
    I realize that this may seem offensive to some, but in cases like this, wouldn't it be worth it?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    I read somewhere recently that technology has advanced to the point where you can implant a homing/location device in a person's arm or leg.
    I realize that this may seem offensive to some, but in cases like this, wouldn't it be worth it?
    I would think so.

    I think if you want a tracking device implanted in your body, you should be able to have it done.

    If someone cannot make decisions for themselves due to some sort of mental problem whether it be a result of autism or Alzheimer's or whatever, their legal guardian ought make that choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    I read somewhere recently that technology has advanced to the point where you can implant a homing/location device in a person's arm or leg.
    I realize that this may seem offensive to some, but in cases like this, wouldn't it be worth it?
    I'm fine with the idea. That said, there will be some that will believe it's wrong and others that may believe that it could even be potentially harmful. Thing is, peace of mind for many families iw worth its weight in gold, so I'm on board with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    I'm fine with the idea. That said, there will be some that will believe it's wrong and others that may believe that it could even be potentially harmful. Thing is, peace of mind for many families iw worth its weight in gold, so I'm on board with it.
    I agree with you. Peace of mind is a huge benefit. I don't see many issues with it. Perhaps there is a chance that a crazed person can hack the system and access the children's locations but I think that is highly unlikely. For parent's of children with special needs that are at a greater risk of becoming a victim I think this would be a great tool. And for "regular" kids it is useful too and you can give them the option to have it removed when they turn 18.

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    Commissioner Kelly took the (necessary, imo) step and personally apologized to the parents of Avonte for his remarks the other day. For those of you that aren't paying attention, Kelly stated “Unfortunately, we are not hopeful that we’re going to find this young man alive, but we are continuing our search.’’ Regardless of the realistic and probable outcome of the situation, it was callous, if not wholly irresponsible, for him to publicly state that he felt that Avonte is likely dead. If you care to read more, here's the article in the Post:

    http://nypost.com/2013/10/27/ray-kel...f-missing-boy/

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    Knowing how these types of stories usually turn out for autistics, I don't have high-hopes for his safe return.
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    Was in NYC all last weekend and saw the signs all over the city. Heartbreaking stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    I thought of you when I first heard this story.
    This, this and this.

    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    I read somewhere recently that technology has advanced to the point where you can implant a homing/location device in a person's arm or leg.
    I realize that this may seem offensive to some, but in cases like this, wouldn't it be worth it?
    Offensive if the Govt. does it to me without consent.

    Not Offensive at all if a parent of an autistic absconding child chooses it for the childs well being.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    Commissioner Kelly took the (necessary, imo) step and personally apologized to the parents of Avonte for his remarks the other day. For those of you that aren't paying attention, Kelly stated “Unfortunately, we are not hopeful that we’re going to find this young man alive, but we are continuing our search.’’ Regardless of the realistic and probable outcome of the situation, it was callous, if not wholly irresponsible, for him to publicly state that he felt that Avonte is likely dead. If you care to read more, here's the article in the Post:

    http://nypost.com/2013/10/27/ray-kel...f-missing-boy/
    Knowing his days as the Emporer are numbered, I think he's mentally checked out. The guys got the warmth of a newt on a good day and this wasnt one of his finest moments. (Heck, he even let one of his Chiefs speak publicly the other day, which he has never done...he wants the mic and no one else can speak on a case...except him..a throwback to his insecurity from when he was PC the first time around and SUUUUCKED)
    Unfortunately, all signs lead to this kid being in the water since day one. No evidence of this kid feeding himself (reports of food thefts) or anyone feeding him. Absent a straight up kidnapping by a bad guy who just happened to be outside when he jetted, its bad. Despite Kelly's gaffe, the cops, and especially the Detectives have done an exhaustive job and havent found a single shred of evidence of the poor kid. They are still looking, but realistically this is recovery, not rescue.
    Last edited by 32green; 10-29-2013 at 06:47 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32green View Post
    Knowing his days as the Emporer are numbered, I think he's mentally checked out. The guys got the warmth of a newt on a good day and this wasnt one of his finest moments. (Heck, he even let one of his Chiefs speak publicly the other day, which he has never done...he wants the mic and no one else can speak on a case...except him..a throwback to his insecurity from when he was PC the first time around and SUUUUCKED)
    Unfortunately, all signs lead to this kid being in the water since day one. No evidence of this kid feeding himself (reports of food thefts) or anyone feeding him. Absent a straight up kidnapping by a bad guy who just happened to be outside when he jetted, its bad. Despite Kelly's gaffe, the cops, and especially the Detectives have done an exhaustive job and havent found a single shred of evidence of the poor kid. They are still looking, but realistically this is recovery, not rescue.
    And I totally get all of that, even stating as much from the onset. Thing is, I'm not the PC (thankfully, lol). Kudos to NYPD for taking the steps they did, including thinking like the parent and broadcasting recordings of mom's voice over PAs (GREAT tactic, imho).

    This is the kind of stuff that keeps a lot of parents in this situation up at night. Having a lower functioning kid with autism is so pervasive, it affects your entire thought process. Unfortunately, this is one of the primary things (absconding) that parents have to worry about with kids like this, which makes it all the more puzzling why it was left out of the latest DSM (despite heavy lobbying), to say nothing about the multiple balls dropped by the DOE (and there were, I know enough about the process to comment confidently).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    And I totally get all of that, even stating as much from the onset. Thing is, I'm not the PC (thankfully, lol). Kudos to NYPD for taking the steps they did, including thinking like the parent and broadcasting recordings of mom's voice over PAs (GREAT tactic, imho).

    This is the kind of stuff that keeps a lot of parents in this situation up at night. Having a lower functioning kid with autism is so pervasive, it affects your entire thought process. Unfortunately, this is one of the primary things (absconding) that parents have to worry about with kids like this, which makes it all the more puzzling why it was left out of the latest DSM (despite heavy lobbying), to say nothing about the multiple balls dropped by the DOE (and there were, I know enough about the process to comment confidently).
    As always, you have my prayers and utmost respect.

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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    I would think so.

    I think if you want a tracking device implanted in your body, you should be able to have it done.

    If someone cannot make decisions for themselves due to some sort of mental problem whether it be a result of autism or Alzheimer's or whatever, their legal guardian ought make that choice.
    One could also simply give the child a necklace with a tracker or a wrist watch without having to implant something. It is actually a smart idea for all parents but moreso parents of children with special needs.

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    While nothing has been confirmed, it's looking like the end many expected has come to pass; yet another autistic child has wandered and drowned. Such a sad, sad state of affairs where this population of disabled people are concerned.

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/01/...ens-shoreline/

  17. #17
    My heart goes out to the family and I immediately thought of you when I saw this announced. Tragic and sad. You're a good man Jetworks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    While nothing has been confirmed, it's looking like the end many expected has come to pass; yet another autistic child has wandered and drowned. Such a sad, sad state of affairs where this population of disabled people are concerned.

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/01/...ens-shoreline/

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    Well, the parents (and those of us like them) got the word we were dreading; the remains found were that of Avonte Oquendo. The new chancellor gave some lip-service about learning from this. Sad thing is, in a special needs school and a 1:1 assigned para, I'm not sure what more could've been done beyond holding those tasked with his safety accountable.

    I leave my daughter in (private) school everyday with her para-professional, someone who has known her for 7 years. For some reason, the DoE feels the need to regularly change these paras (so the kids don't rely on them too much : ). Start with "learning" from that and we can talk, chancellor.

    RIP Avonte and infinite comfort to his family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    Well, the parents (and those of us like them) got the word we were dreading; the remains found were that of Avonte Oquendo. The new chancellor gave some lip-service about learning from this. Sad thing is, in a special needs school and a 1:1 assigned para, I'm not sure what more could've been done beyond holding those tasked with his safety accountable.

    I leave my daughter in (private) school everyday with her para-professional, someone who has known her for 7 years. For some reason, the DoE feels the need to regularly change these paras (so the kids don't rely on them too much : ). Start with "learning" from that and we can talk, chancellor.

    RIP Avonte and infinite comfort to his family.
    RIP Avonte. Hopefully his parents get some sort of closure from this if such a thing is even possible.

    I am not that familiar with the DoE and their policies on many things but common sense would dictate that continuity is beneficial. Especially when talking about children that will be perpetually dependent on someone for their well-being. I understand making children dependent is not a good thing but in the case of these low functional children I assume there is very little you can do to make them less dependent. And even if there was any slight benefit I think it would be outweighed by the distress that could arise from making a child go through such a change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post

    RIP Avonte and infinite comfort to his family.
    +1000000000

    Sadly, to those in the know, this was the second best outcome absent him appearing miraculously alive and well in his parents home;

    He most likely perished quickly, no violence, no suffering...so sad.

    I am totally on board with the the GPS thing, I dont get the whole resistance to the idea; We can track a crappy car to a garage in Newark, but God forbid we can track an Alzheimers patient or an autistic kid on the run. Its probably the best-applied use for the technology, imho.

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