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Kevin and Avonte’s Law recently passed in the Senate and is the first federal legislation with a focus specifically on prevention of wandering by children with ASD and other developmental disabilities.  This legislation is an important first step, but it is modest in scope and resources.  Even this modest, but important piece of legislation was delayed indefinitely in Congress just last week.  As such, it is more essential than ever to gather data evaluating prevention strategies and the impact that wandering behavior has on household stress and quality of life for individuals with ASD and their families.

Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York is conducting a major national study about wandering, and we very much want you to participate.

Wandering by children with ASD and other developmental disorders is a significant safety concern.  It is estimated that more than 250,000 children with disabilities wander away from adult supervision each year.   Few researchers have looked at this major issue, and there has been little focus on prevention measures and the impact that wandering concerns have on families.

It takes just a few minutes to complete the anonymous, on-line questionnaire.  If enough families complete our questionnaire, then:

  • We will have the most representative study done to date – giving voice to as many families as possible
  • We can help guide families like yours about which prevention strategies seem to be most effective
  • We can document the impact that wandering has on families in terms of activities and household stress

Please click HERE to complete the survey.  You may also go to to take the survey, request a copy of our results, and/or be contacted regarding a follow-up research project related to wandering.  We encourage you to pass the survey or website along to any friends or family who might be eligible to participate – we want to hear from as many families as possible.

Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.  If you have any questions about the study, please reach out to me at

Laura McLaughlin

Research Assistant


On behalf of:


Andrew Adesman, MD

Chief, Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York


Professor of Pediatrics

Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine


Northwell Health

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