Being Proactive: New Safety Database for Wanderers

Jaden Dremsa is missing in Waterboro, Maine.  Have you been following the story?  Jaden is a 15 year old teenager with Aspergers and he has been missing since May 8.  Jaden is described as very high-functioning, but despite that a diagnosis of Aspergers can still make it more difficult to locate him.  He may not respond to his name, he may not approach strangers to ask for help, and he is most likely very scared wherever he is.


Courtesy of the Maine Warden Service

It’s no secret that this is one of my biggest fears.  I have said the facts over and over again but they can’t be said enough.

1 in 68 children are on the spectrum. 

49 percent of those children will or have wandered.

91 percent of deaths among children on the spectrum are from drowning after wandering.

I’ve been very busy the past week or so developing a wandering database with our local police force.  I was very lucky to meet another warrior mom two weeks ago who had set up such a database in the Belfast area.  She helped me navigate and get it going here in Knox County.  Just within a week’s time we have had huge success getting it going, even going on the radio yesterday morning to promote it (thank you WRFR!).

The database is a completely voluntary system.  Caregivers can fill out a form with their loved one’s information and a photo and it will be inputted into the law enforcement’s database.  It will include their contact info, a physical description, health info and allergies, as well as known calmers and triggers.

If something ever happened to my son, I could call in to report him missing and tell them he was in the Wanderers Database and dispatch would instantly be able to send a picture as well as all of his info to every cruiser in the area.  And in reverse, if a police officer was to come across an elderly person who seemed confused they could put in some of their physical description and narrow down through pictures of who the person might be.

This database is going to save time and saved time is saved lives.

If you are interested in entering your loved one and you live in Knox County please email me at or contact Chief Boucher at 594-0316.  We hope to have a link online soon for people to download the form themselves.

In the meantime please keep Jaden’s family in your thoughts.  Today they didn’t need volunteers as they searched the drained lake, but they may need more in the upcoming days so keep tuned to your local television stations and newspapers.  Join this facebook group to stay on top of when volunteers or supplies are needed.

Heather Nelson

About Heather Nelson

Heather resides in Rockland where she is busy juggling life as a newlywed, a mom to two boys (one of which who has autism), a part time job in direct sales, and a full-time job as a pediatric occupational therapy assistant. She has a love for live music, karaoke, and cheering on the underdogs.