Safety

NAA’s Safety Brochure Suite

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Big Red Safety Toolkit (National Autism Assn.)

For Caregivers

The National Autism Association’s Big Red Safety Toolkit for caregivers seeks to prevent wandering and elopement. The tools and resources included in the kit provide direct aid and support to those at risk and their caregivers.

For First Responders

The National Autism Association’s Big Red Safety Toolkit for first responders offers tools and resources to prevent and address wandering and elopement. The kit includes a checklist, resource sheet, tips, flyers, and search and rescue guidelines for persons with special needs.


Guides

Tools

Wallet Cards
2015- Wallet Card Logo (final- updated)

The Wallet CardTM Project facilitates effective communication between law enforcement and persons with disabilities to avoid any misunderstandings.

The Wallet Card is a free resource available for teens and adults with ASD or ID/DD. The card helps individuals communicate clearly with law enforcement and includes information such as the person’s name, disability, emergency contact, and any specific triggers.

The Wallet Card may be requested for free online at www.justdigit.org/wallet-cards. In addition, individuals applying for the card can watch a short video (closed captioning available) that explains how to use the card and provides tips on how to safely interact with law enforcement.

About the Wallet Card Project: The Wallet Card Project was developed through a partnership between Disability Independence Group Inc., the Coral Gables Police Department, and UM-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, and is being used by other law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

Electronic Devices

Project Lifesaver

Project Lifesaver International is a non-profit organization that provides law enforcement, fire/rescue, and other first responders and caregivers with equipment and training in order to quickly locate and rescue individuals with cognitive disorders who wander. Individuals enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a PAL device, a small personal transmitter around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. The costs to enroll an individual vary by agency. Some agencies participate in grant programs, which may be able to provide the PAL devices at discounted rates or at no charge to you and your loved one.

ICE4Autism

ICE4Autism is a mobile app that stores vital information about a person’s unique and individual needs directly on their iPhone or iPad making the very information first responders and ER personnel need to treat the patient properly immediately accessible. The app is available for $1.99USD on the Apple Store.

Take Me Home

Take Me Home is a database software created by the Pensacola Police Department for those who may need special assistance in case of an emergency. It is designed to assist those who are unable to speak, properly identify themselves, or have become disoriented. There is no charge to police departments to implement this program. Once the program is in place in a community, families can contact the police department and submit a recent digital photo, physical and demographic information of their child, as well as emergency contact information. Then, this information is placed in a database that can be accessed in a police cruiser or back at the police station. If officers find someone who can’t communicate where they live, they can search the database by description and return the person home to their loved ones. This program is affiliated with the Autism Society.

AngelSense

AngelSense is a wearable GPS for individuals with disabilities. The GPS has a magnetic lock that prevents the wearer or others from taking off the device. The parent or guardian can then check in on where the wearer is through any smart phone. If the wearer runs or goes missing, the device transmits the exact GPS coordinates which can be given to the local authorities. The device costs $99 with a $39.99 monthly charge for the AngelSense service. This monthly charge includes a cellular plan, unlimited SMS, email alerts, unlimited location updates, 1 hour of voice/Listen-In, unlimited support, and unlimited feature updates.

Articles of Interest

Community Safety

Best Practices for Autism during Emergencies” By Kevin Kupietz

Teaching first responders about autism and teaching individuals with autism how to respond in emergency situations.

Increase Autism Awareness and Make Your Community Safer for Your Kids” By Dennis Debbaudt

An article written for the OAR newsletter, Dennis, a law enforcement consultant discusses how to keep a child with autism safe in the community through help from law enforcement officials.

Fire Alarms and at Risk Populations” By The Fire Protection Research Population

A project summary of how first responders are working with individuals with ASD and individuals with other noise sensitivities to create better fire alarms that our sensitive to their needs.

Why first responders need to prepare for people with developmental disabilities”  By Lisa Braxton

An article about the importance of fire safety training and how to conduct an effective fire safety training session for individuals with disabilities.

Children with Autism and Fire Drills and Fire Alarms” By David A. Cohen

David Cohen conducted a study to create an educational program to assist children with autism in emergency situations with fire alarms.

Online Safety 

Internet Safety for Teens with ASD” By Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (CSESA)

This resource provides summaries of online rules and tips to keep your child safe on the internet.

Water Safety

Water Safety: The Ultimate Life Skill” By Jim Ball

Dr. Ball’s article on water safety for the Autism Asperger’s Digest details different approaches to water safety, especially during the summer season.

Wandering and Elopement

When They Wander or Run Away” By Shelly Allred, Pathfinders for Autism

This article discusses how to handle children who wander and how to set up safety precautions in case they get away.

Managing Wandering for People With Autism” By Irene van der Zande

The founder of KidPower, Irene gives insight into wandering studies and how to prevent and avoid wandering.

Autism & Wandering” By Dennis Debbaudt and AWAARE

A brochure about keeping children with autism who wander safe.

Worksheets

Avoiding Unfortunate Situations: Autism and Law Enforcement” By Dennis Debbaudt

This handout can be helpful both for law enforcement officials and for useful guidance on how to interact with individuals on the spectrum during an emergency situation.

Contact and Emergency Information to Carry in Pocket” By Gerald Hasselbrink

Blank form to fill out for yourself and your loved one.

Autism Information Cards” By HANDS in Autism

Wallet sized information cards that briefly explain autism to others.

The Fire Safety Story” By The National Fire Protection Agency

A customized social story about fire safety and creating a fire safety plan that can be designed specifically for your child with autism. The flip book can be viewed online or printed to be used over and over again.

Emergency Information for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” By American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

A blank emergency information sheet with all of your child’s information for sitters or for emergency situations.