LYNCHBURG, Va (WFXR) — It’s difficult to imagine what a parent is feeling when their child is missing and when the child has a cognitive condition such as Autism, it can be even scarier not knowing where they are. Experts shared resources with WFXR on how to keep these kids safe.

Bryan Eure is a Behavior Analyst at Impact Autism Services in Lynchburg. He says there are some key things to keep in mind when you are communicating with a child with autism.

“Their communication could be impacted, using simple short phrases, not being overly excited, just kind of keeping a mellow tone to your voice and approach slowly,” said Eure.

Eure emphasizes the importance of building trust and being responsive– adding that each child with autism is individual and may react in a different way.

“Just remember when you meet a child with autism you’ve met one child with autism. They’re all different just like you and I,” Eure said.

In addition to Impact Autism Services, Eure says there are several resources in the community including therapy and family support groups. However, when it comes to cases of safety like a missing persons case– Eure recommends Project Lifesaver.

Sergeant Timothy Young with the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office says time is of the essence when it comes to a missing persons case. He says they have had quick and successful searches when using Project Lifesaver.

“A successful search and rescue for a person on the program, the average right now is 30 minutes, and that is lifesaving,” said Young.

Sergeant Young explains that the Project Lifesaver program provides a transmitter that is worn 24/7 by the individual with the cognitive condition. If they do wander, agencies are able to locate them more efficiently.

“If your child or if you’re loved one goes missing, don’t hesitate to call 911 immediately,” said Young.

He adds that the transmitters are at no cost to families and can provide peace of mind that your loved ones are safe.

For a full list of agencies, you can visit the Project Lifesaver website.