Grady Co. Sheriff's Office Announces Autism Registry For Children

Saturday, May 13th 2017, 9:10 am
By: News 9

There's a new push in Grady County to create a registry that could save the lives of missing children, specifically children with autism.

“Sometimes they'll wander off and they'll find them even before the parents know they're gone,” Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir said. “Worst case scenario the parents call us and they're in a panic and all they can get out is their name, height, weight eye color and hair color.

The idea is simple. The parents answer a series of questions about their child so law enforcement will them on file.

“They can tell us everything we need to know about their child so the instant they call us, we don't have to ask them 101 questions,” Weir said.

The four-page questionnaire asks for details like if the child responds to certain songs or toys, if they have any behavioral triggers like being touched or if they have a fascination with certain objects or places.

The latter was the case with 8-year-old Damien Davidson last June in Duncan. His body was found in a nearby creek, and his parents told authorities he had always been drawn to water. That instance was one of the examples given by Weir for why he wanted to start the registry.

“All the little idiosyncrasies of that child they can already have in this database for us on this form they fill out,” he said.

Weir said for the time being the database will remain a “hard-copy” paper form until it can be plugged into a digital database. He hopes one day soon, the digital data will be uploaded to a national registry for kids and law enforcement across the country.