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Children on the Autism Spectrum: Search Protocols & Questionnaire for First Responders

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2023
9 pages

This document provides information, guidance, and a questionnaire to be administered to families and caregivers in case a child goes missing.


The purpose of this document is to provide key information, guidance, and questions to ask families and caregivers in the event a child on the autism spectrum goes missing. The document discusses initial response; search and rescue measures; considerations in the event of a prolonged search; and recovery and reunification measures. It also includes a questionnaire for families and caregivers. In addition to these search protocols and questions, law enforcement and other first responders are encouraged to consult Home Safe’s Understanding Children on the Autism Spectrum: A Guide for First Responders, as well as free resources to help find missing children, including deployment of Team Adam and all the other coordinated resources available through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® such as poster distribution, victim and family support, and analytical services.

Date Published: August 1, 2023