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Gov't Will Fund Tracking Devices for Autistic Kids

WebMD News from HealthDay

Jan. 31, 2014 -- The U.S. government will pay for tracking devices worn by children with autism and other developmental disorders so they can be found if they go missing.

The Justice Department grants will be available immediately, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a congressional hearing Wednesday. Grant money will also be used to train authorities, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The tracking devices use GPS technology and can be worn on the wrist or attached to belt loops or shoelaces. They will be monitored by local law enforcement agencies. The government already pays for tracking devices for Alzheimer's disease patients.

The attorney-general's announcement comes two days after U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer proposed a bill containing similar measures. Schumer said he'll still move ahead with his bill, which would boost funding for the program and provide a flow of money that will "ensure its permanence," WSJ reported.

Schumer noted that running away from parents, teachers and other caregivers is common among youngsters with severe autism.

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