LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Since the tragic death of 6-year-old Keaton Jones, several families in Acadiana are speaking out to raise awareness about autism.
Stephanie Krielow’s son Jonah has autism. Krielow said when she heard the news about Keaton Jones she was devastated.
“I was up late that night. Praying a lot.”
Krielow said running is a characteristic of autism, one she has experienced herself.
“We had locks on the doors the ones at the top, but they are so smart, like he would pull up the chair and run,” said Krielow.
Krielow said unfortunately this scenario isn’t uncommon.
“It happens all the time. If an autistic child is missing more than 20 minutes there’s a high rate of them being found in a body of water. There have been studies this is a true problem.”
Krielow said the best thing parents and residents can do is speak up.
“It would be good for the parents of the child to get some flyers printed out, snap a picture, walk door to door. If you have the neighborhood app that’s a quick easy way.”
Nearly nine hundred families in Acadiana have connections to autism. Autism Society of Acadiana board member Robyn Blackwell said free resources are available to anyone interested in learning more.
“We offer a number of different resources, pamphlets, information on various issues involving autism. We always have someone here with an ear to listen and to provide guidance.”
If you or anyone you know are interested in learning more about autism, the Autism Society Acadiana has supports meeting every first Tuesday of the month.