Personal and Home Safety

Parents and care providers may want to take some extra safety measures when preparing for a community outing or traveling. There are simple and easy things you can do to help protect your family. Become proactive in your safety routine.

Develop an informational handout about autism and be person-specific. The sheet should
be clearly labeled and can include information like:

Carry copies of the sheet with you at all times. Leave additional copies in your car, purse, suitcase, and at home. These informational sheets can also aid in opening up dialog with your neighbors. Decide what information you would like to share and plan a brief visit to their home or invite them over to yours to offer this helpful safety information.

To help increase awareness and understanding, some parents/caregivers also carry business cards that contain a message about autism and contact information for a local or national autism advocacy group. These are some examples of the messages that you can use on your card:

Many online sites feature business card templates that you can use.

Self identification is also important.
Print a small ID card for the person to carry or wear.
Everyone’s preference is different.
Some might like an ID bracelet, key tag or a temporary tattoo.
If those are not options for the individual, label clothing tags with a permanent marker.

Some of the characteristics of ASD can pose a potential danger to self, others, and/or property. Some other safety considerations might be needed. A person with autism might:

  • Have a tendency to wander
  • Lack fear or sense of danger
  • Be unaware or unresponsive to others they do not know
  • Have unpredictable reactions to an unfamiliar environment
  • Misinterpret words, signs, gestures
  • Be unaware of pain
  • Repeat words or phrases

If the person with autism has a tendency to wander or if you’re new to the town, contact the local law enforcement agency. Take extra precautions by alerting first responders about the person’s special circumstances. Many local emergency offices maintain a database that helps first responders identify individuals with special needs. When contacting your emergency office, inquire about receiving a form for such a database. For a list of state offices and agencies visit: http://www.fema.gov/about/contact/statedr.shtm

It’s important to familiarize a person with autism with emergency response professionals. This can be done with visual aids or through personal interactions. Most police departments and other emergency response professionals make frequent visits to organizations or schools to talk about safety. It’s an effective way for a person to get to know these important people in your neighborhood, while building community relationships. Or, if you prefer, set up an appointment to visit the facility.

Use the link below to print a PDF version of this information to share with others.

For more information about this program contact: KohlsAutismAwareness@childrens-specialized.org

Download PDF

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