Kim Suess
Guest Writer

Kim Suess is the mother of two sons. One of them, Deric, is on the autism spectrum and was the first person in Indiana to wear a Project Lifesaver wristband to keep him safe.

A Simple Band Provides a Bit of Normalcy

1 minute read

The front and back doors at our house have combination locks and deadbolts. But even with those, I used to worry that when I took a shower, he was going figure out how to open a door and take off.

Deric has autism. He’s 21 now and has been wearing a Project Lifesaver trackable band since he was 8 or 9. He was the first person in the state to get one.

We live near Fort Harrison, and he’s always been fascinated by the golf course, the woods and the nearby railroad tracks.

Three times, he wandered off and we had to call 911. He liked to explore, and didn’t understand how dangerous it is. I feel like he’s been wearing the band so long that it helps him remember not to run. He knows that if he does, the firefighters will have to come, and that’s not a good thing.

I will say, Project Lifesaver has changed our lives. We are not only more comfortable at home, but when we travel, we contact the local emergency responders and let them know we’ll be in town and that we’re a Project Lifesaver family. It really helps knowing that there’s a safety net in place so that if we were to get separated, the band is trackable, and we’ll be able to find him quickly.

I think it’s great that we’re raising money for families who can’t afford these. They’re $350 each, and then you have to buy batteries every month. Back when Deric was little, I wasn’t working, so it was hard to pay for things like this. But it’s so important.