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Autism Safety Tips

Safety Guidebook with Autism Safety Suggestions

A missing person with Autism is an emergency.  Law Enforcement officials know that the faster the word gets out with media alerts, the more likely a missing person will be found safely.

A SafeAssured ID kit allows caregivers and guardians to place identifying information and video in the hands of law enforcement and the media within minutes of any disappearance.

In addition to a high quality digital photograph, additional information captured includes streaming digital video showing mannerisms and movements, a full set of digital fingerprints, a digital voice file showing voice inflection and accent, and general personal information.

Preparing for an Autism Emergency (written by Dennis Debbaudt)
Leading causes for concern are children and adults with autism who run away or wander from parents and care providers. Tragically, children and adults with autism are often attracted to water sources such as pools, ponds, and lakes. Drowning is a leading cause of death for a child or adult who has autism. Wandering can also lead to high risk field contacts with law enforcement or members of the general public.

Contacting 911 Call Centers (written by Dennis Debbaudt)
In the U.S., some law enforcement, fire rescue, and emergency 911 call centers are willing and able to proactively place information into their data base. Although not every system or agency is able to provide this service, it is certainly worth looking into.

If wandering is a concern, ask your local 911 call center to red flag this information in their 911 computer data base. When a call comes from families that participate in the red flag program, 911 operators can alert the first responder before they arrive with key information that can improve the response. When we provide law enforcement with information before an incident occurs, we can expect better responses.

When Wandering or an Emergency Occurs (written by Dennis Debbaudt)
When you are listed in a 911 special needs database, please be aware that the information is typically linked to your home to help assist during an emergency. The information may not automatically transfer to identify a person who has wandered away from home or is involved in an accident out in the community.

Before searching please remember to call 911 first. It will be your responsibility to inform them that a family member is missing and needs assistance in the community.

Be ready and willing to provide information about the person who is missing, either proactively to 911 operators or on the spot to first responders such as police, fire rescue or other emergency medical responders. Your preparation and planning can be the positive critical difference to the field response.

The Autism Emergency Contact Form can be completed, copied and carried with your SafeAssured ID card.  Keep one at home, in your car's sun visor or glove box, in your purse or wallet, or affixed to a child's car seat.  An autism decal on your vehicle can alert first responders to search for the handout if you are incapacitated for any reason. The information in your Autism Emergency Contact Form can also be used with a 911 alert program. Also, circulate this handout to family members, trusted neighbors, friends and coworkers.

The Autism Emergency Contact Form and SafeAssured ID kit will also come in handy if you are in an area other than your neighborhood.

Planning Checklist (written by Dennis Debbaudt)

  • Complete the Autism Emergency Contact Form
  • Have a SafeAssured ID kit made at a local ID event
  • Make a few copies of the completed Autism Emergency Contact Form; keep a copy on your refrigerator, near your phone, in your wallet, or anywhere where you will have easy access to the form while you are either at home or in public
  • Plan and practice your response in the event of a wandering incident
  • Plan a couple mock events and your responses as you would plan and practice your response for escape from a fire in your home
  • Practice the 911 call with a friend
  • If you have a cell phone, program your cell phone contact call list to include a list called "ICE-In Case of Emergency" and program your emergency contact phone numbers. Include the other person(s) others would call if you were incapacitated
Autism Emergency Checklist (written by Dennis Debbaudt)
  • If wandering has occurred, call 911 before you go off to search
  • Alert the 911 operator if you are listed in the 911 special needs directory
  • If you are not already listed in a 911 special needs directory, be prepared to share with the operator the information from your Autism Emergency Contact Form
  • Tell the operator and law enforcement that you have a SafeAssured ID kit and can print missing posters right from the mini-CD to help the search team

Information courtesy of Autism Risk & Safety Management and Debbaudt Legacy Productions.  www.autismriskmanagement.com