Autism Moms Know Safety Offers Free Safety Kits for Caregivers of Kids Who Wander


Natasha Barber’s decision to form Autism Moms Know Safety and provide free safety-promoting kids to parents of children on the autism spectrum was born out of necessity.

The first time Barber’s son, Joshua, wandered was in 2011, when he was only 5 years old. Joshua was drawn to the lake that bordered the family’s backyard.

Barber was fortunate to see Joshua bolt out the door as he headed toward the lake, unable to swim. Barber caught him just in time and pulled him out. That same day she made sure to install error proof locks to keep her son safe at home.

In 2015, Barber’s son took off again, this time from his before- and after- care program. Joshua left the premises and ran out onto a 50 mph road.

Following this incident with her son, Barber attended a safety forum where she recognized her fears were shared by many other parents.”The day I met a mom who lost her son to wandering, was the day that sparked the creation of the safety kits,” Barber told The Mighty, “I felt the need to reach out to parents and provide a free physical resource so that this awful experience didn’t repeat itself for another mom.”

Barber started Autism Moms Know Safety (AMKS) in July of 2015. With the help of illustrator Rayah Jaymes. She developed AMKS Safety and Resource Kits in August of 2017, a free resource for parents and caregivers. For these kits, Barber contacted companies she had purchased safety products from and asked them to contribute to the kits. Some of the companies who agreed to participate include: If I Need Help, RoadID, and Angel Sense.

The AMKS safety kits are packed with safety samples, coupons for products and safety solutions Barber has successfully implemented in her home, school and vehicles. Kits are available for free to any caregiver of a child who is nonverbal, has tendencies to wander and does not have the ability to recognize danger or stay in a safe environment.

Kits include bumper stickers, interactive matching boards, coupons and free samples, including bracelets, stop signs and safety clips.

AMKS Safety Kit featuring all 20 items included in the kit

AMKS is based in the U.S. but has sent kits to Canada, Philippines, Ireland, U.K. and Australia.

Kits are available based on AMKS’ funding and resources. In January, the group received $1,000 from Centria Healthcare to create and deliver 250 kits to parents of children with autism spectrum disorder.

Those interested in receiving a free kit can apply at Autism Moms Knows Safety.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Left and right brain concept with colors music and science.

Why I'm Grateful to You, My Beautiful Brain

I recently wrote a letter to my body, letting it know that it is loved. I meant every word of it. It’s time for me to sit down and have a conversation with my CPTSD-wrought, over-anxious, depression-shaped, Aspie brain. We need to talk about the things that are, the things that no longer can be, [...]
Drawing of sad girl in tears.

How My Autism Made Me Vulnerable to Sexual Assault

Editor’s Note: If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. The last few months have seen a media explosion of pain, confession, opinion and counter-opinion in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations. The various articles and hashtag movements been intense, [...]

When My Son Received an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis

My wife, Teri, and I took our son, Leo, for his 2-year-old wellness check with his pediatrician. Our normally bubbly and cheerful nurse practitioner did not seem to be in her normal spirits and bluntly delivered her thoughts, “You need to get Leo to the University of Iowa. I think he has autism.” Shocked, Teri [...]
Three young kids watching television.

How TV and Movie Quotes Connect My Neurodiverse Family

We are the Children of Tama. At least I certainly am. For years, I have quoted lines from books and movies where they seemed relevant, and for some reason, my children do the same. Lots of laughs and more than that — it has become a unique language for our family. So I always loved [...]