Kelly is a mom and a caretaker of her son Devon who has autism. This blog post was originally posted on her Kelly’s Thoughts on Things blog here.
As you all know I have a son whom is Autistic and being his mom and caretaker, I have so many worries. One, Devon can’t tell anyone if something is wrong with him. Also we always have a fear of him wandering off, believe me we have taken every precaution we can, but it is always on our minds. So what happens in an emergency and how will the 911 be able to know anything about him? Have you heard of Smart911?
With Smart911 I will be able to give them all the information in regards to Devon that they will need to be able to approach him and help him. It works so that when you call in to a participating 911 Dispatch Service from a phone you’ve registered with Smart911, the operator’s screen will fill with a lot more information about yourself, your residence, your vehicles, your medical conditions, other people living with you, and so on – all information that you’ve previously loaded into the Smart911 database.
So before the first responders arrive on the scene, they will know if an individual has to be approached in a certain way or has a medical issue. They will already know that Devon has autism and how they can approach him. Additionally, the Smart911 Safety Profile can include a picture and physical description if the individual has wandered from safety.
Imagine the peace of mind a parent or guardian will have, when they are away from the house and something happens, with Smart911 all the family’s information will already be there for them to have. People with autism are 7 times more likely to encounter first responders. When those encounters occur, Smart911 provides vital information about the 9-1-1 caller before first responders arrive on the scene.
No matter what the medical emergency, a behavioral emergency, or is in another situation, it is vital to communicate that this person has autism and that there are certain things they need to know about the individual, Smart911 can provide the important details needed by 9-1-1 and response teams to assist this person. About 50 percent of children with Autism wander off and I personally know how that is, when my son was younger he got out and we couldn’t find him. It was night-time and we all started searching the streets, well it turned out that he went down the street to the pizza place and the owner called the police and then the police took Devon to the nearest hospital. At that time the owners of the pizza place did not know Devon was our son, we had just moved to the neighborhood. To make a long story short, we found him safe and sound at the hospital. I never want to go through that again!
If the person with autism has wandered, their Safety Profile can provide a current photo, physical description and home address to assist responders in locating them quickly. For me this is a life saving thing and I have already did all the information about my son. Loud noises bother him, and he will be afraid if he doesn’t know you.
Some great information about the Smart911 is if the person is autistic and has specific behavior issues and how they can approach him and handle him. I really like this and urge other mothers who have autism children to do the same. This is good for all people with disabilities so 911 knows what is wrong, and how to handle them, and what they can be allergic to and other things. If the person with autism is sensitive to flashing lights or sirens, or had a safe place in the home they will hide in when they are frightened, responders can be instructed to turn off sirens or lights, and where to look for that person. This is especially helpful in the event of a fire.
Register at Smart911. It is absolutely FREE! Create a Safety Profile. Input all of your information, it takes only a few minutes and could very well save your life or that of your child.