Joshua is intelligent, fun, and the sweetest little boy – he is also an avid train enthusiast. He knows so much about real locomotives and steam engines that his family often needs to Google things he says so they can understand his passion. Along with trains, Joshua loves arts and crafts, being outside, and thunderstorms, and he’s so musically inclined that he can often hum a song after hearing it just once. With that talent, Joshua’s mom hopes he will play an instrument or two when he gets older.
Although he takes on the world bravely, Joshua lives with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), anxiety, and other health conditions. When he feels safe and happy, Joshua’s energy and enthusiasm are infectious. But when he feels nervous or scared, or when he’s somewhere unfamiliar, he has the propensity to wander or run away.
According to Autism Speaks, 1 in 54 children is diagnosed with an ASD. Of the individuals diagnosed with autism, an estimated one-third are nonverbal, and nearly half tend to wander or bolt from safety.
That’s precisely why Joshua’s mom turned to MedicAlert for help. Joshua’s safety is her number one concern. Joshua’s family selected a MedicAlert ID for its unique member number and specifically for our 24/7 Emergency Response Team hotline number. If a first responder contacts MedicAlert using the hotline number on an ID, they will have immediate access to critical medical information, emergency contacts, and other personal data to facilitate a safe return and/or proper medical care.
Recently, we had the privilege of speaking with Joshua’s mom, Sherry. We learned more about Joshua and why his family chose MedicAlert.
As a mom, what does MedicAlert mean to you?
As a mom, MedicAlert means more to me than one may think. As Joshua gets older, my fears become more intense about how the world will react to him and the way he responds or doesn’t respond to certain situations. I hope that as he grows older, and if he encounters law enforcement or gets in any situation, they will recognize his MedicAlert ID bracelet and try to meet his needs and truly understand what he needs.
Does Joshua wear his ID every day?
Yes, Joshua wears his MedicAlert ID bracelet every day. It is never taken off. He doesn’t even notice it anymore. He has worn it for over 2 years now.
When Joshua wears his ID, does it provide you with a sense of comfort? Why?
Oh, yes! Joshua wearing his ID provides a strong sense of comfort for me and our family. He has ASD, anxiety, and health conditions, and is a runner. Having this information easily seen to alert a Good Samaritan or first responder that he may need special attention if lost or in an accident is an amazing thing. When Joshua is scared or hurt, he doesn’t use words nor does he respond easily to others, especially with adults. So, having MedicAlert is of great comfort for us all.
In the current climate – the COVID-19 pandemic — how do you think having a MedicAlert ID impacts Joshua’s safety and security?
With all that is going on in the world today, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, Joshua’s MedicAlert ID is very important. So many are struggling with having to remain home, but for a child with ASD, it is not something that can be explained to them. As a runner/bolter, when Joshua is ready to go or wants to go somewhere, he will leave. There are always hundreds of eyes on him, as much as humanly possible, but he’s a smart kid. If he should run off, his ID has information that is extremely valuable to his needs and his return.
Your daughter Jazmine is an Instagram Influencer and model, and she is also Joshua’s protector. Does her celebrity and modeling impact Joshua?
With our daughter Jazmine Alycia being a model, influencer and in the public eye, we do a lot of traveling. Most times Joshua cannot come along with us, which makes his ID even more important. It brings all of us peace of mind that if something were to happen and we were away from him, his needs would be met quickly, and they’d know who to contact. If he is with us and we are in another state or country, it helps as well because he wouldn’t be familiar with his surroundings.
Our members mean the world to all of us at MedicAlert. They drive and motivate us to live our mission each day: to save and protect lives by sharing critical medical information in our members’ moments of need.
Thank you, Sherry, for sharing your world with us. We can’t wait to follow Joshua and find out if he’ll become a train engineer or storm chaser!