Safe and Secure: Parenting and Autism

For parents raising a child with a cognitive delay or autism, keeping a child safe brings on a completely different set of concerns. With all children, you’re worried about keeping them safe on the playground, teaching them how to look both ways when crossing the street, , and not talk strangers, But for a parent raising a child with a cognitive delay, Autism, or Asperger’s, a bigger worry is – what happens if your child is in an emergency situation?

Could your child communicate if they are in harm’s way? Will they be responsive to a police officer? Will they run away if a first responder approaches them? Will they be able to communicate who they are and where they live?

There are no clear answers to these questions, because raising a child with Autism brings new challenges on a daily basis.

According to the Autism Speaks, 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) , an estimated one-third of the individuals diagnosed with autism are nonverbal, and nearly half of those with autism wander or bolt from safety.[1]

Rebecca Goodard of the “Real Mom of OC” blog believes a MedicAlert ID and membership are great safety tools for her two sons, Jackson, age 12 and Franklin, age 10. Both Jackson and Franklin are living with Autism. “For my son Jackson, there are some questions that he may not answer if he’s nervous. And Franklin is non-verbal and has seizures. As they get older, and entering their teenage years, getting bigger – security or police personnel may take a different approach with them. A medical identification tag such as a MedicAlert shoe tag would keep my boys safe. If they’re lost or in an emergency, the MedicAlert shoe tag will prompt a first responder or Good Samaritan to contact MedicAlert’s 24/7 Emergency Response Team for their health records and our safe return action plan.”

We’ve got you covered.

What is MedicAlert?

Well, it’s not just a medical ID. MedicAlert is peace of mind, knowing that if your loved one wanders or has a medical emergency, MedicAlert Foundation has their back – and yours. With a MedicAlert ID and membership, your loved one’s medical history and emergency info is stored, safe and secure, in their MedicAlert profile. So, if they are lost or have a medical emergency, their medical ID will provide an emergency response team with the necessary information to keep your loved one safe and return them to you as quickly as possible.

How does it work?

Emergency response teams are trained to look for a MedicAlert ID. Should your loved one wander or have an emergency, accessing the MedicAlert ID number on the bracelet or necklace will connect first responders to MedicAlert’s Emergency Response Team . They will relay your loved one’s vital medical history and list of emergency contacts, providing first responders with a detailed health record and action plan.

MedicAlert’s Emergency Response Team diligently works with first responders in the case of a lost or wandering child. We transmit photos and a missing person’s report to police, hospitals and first responder and proactively reach out to the community outlets to advise them to be on alert. We have the knowledge, experience, and most importantly, we’re there for you and your family in time of need.

Parents will always worry. A MedicAlert ID and membership provides comfort so they can sleep a little bit easier.

What is a MedicAlert Membership?

Nobody anticipates an emergency but if it happens, we’ll communicate your critical information to first responders, so you’ll receive the care you need, at the moment you need it.

Because in an emergency, every second counts.

If you’re managing a chronic medical condition, have a loved one who is prone to wandering because of Alzheimer’s or autism, have an implanted device or if you’re an active individual who runs, hikes, cycles, – a MedicAlert membership plan can help protect you. Read more about the way MedicAlert membership can help you or your loved ones here.

Donate to the MedicAlert Foundation. Your tax-deductible donation supports our first responder training and 24/7 emergency services. Help us protect and save more lives.