If your child frequently runs away from caregivers in public or leaves home without permission, he or she might be a good match for this study.

Elopement—running or wandering away from supervision—affects nearly 50% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A new elopement treatment study at Marcus Autism Center will test a parent-mediated intervention called Function-Based Elopement Treatment (FBET), which may improve elopement. As part of the study, caregivers will learn how to respond to elopement.

Who can participate?

Your child may be eligible if he or she:

  • Is 4 to 12 years old.
  • Has autism.
  • Has issues with running or wandering away.
  • Can come to Marcus Autism Center or have a therapist come to your home (depending on the treatment group you are in) for 16 weeks of appointments.

What will I be asked to do?

As part of the study, you and your child will come to the Marcus Autism Center for one initial visit. This visit will include common tests of your child’s behavior and diagnosis. Children with ASD who engage in elopement and meet eligibility requirements will be asked to join the study and attend several appointments.

What are the benefits of participating?

Caregivers will meet with board-certified behavior analysts to either receive the Function-Based Elopement Treatment or to participate in an education program. After 16 weeks, those who complete the education program will be offered the elopement treatment. This study may benefit your child if treatment is effective at reducing elopement.

Who is leading the study?

Mindy Scheithauer
Marcus Autism Center
Assistant Professor,
Emory University School of Medicine

Sign up now

Email or call 404-785-7600 if you’re interested in the elopement treatment study.