To Inform Families First

When emergencies happen

Autism Awareness Month

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Apr 18, 2019

This month, we are highlighting a particular group of very special individuals that TIFF’s Initiative would benefit: those who can't or might not be able to provide contact information in an emergency. Those like Julian, Christine’ nephew who is autistic and does not speak. He often goes out on little excursions with his grandmother, Barbara Olson. If, for whatever reason, there was a situation or accident and Barb was unresponsive, Julian would NOT be able to speak and tell law enforcement who to contact.  

In an emergency situation, someone with autism might not explain what’s happened to the police or other first responders. They may wander away from the scene, or simply continue sitting nearby, unfazed. Often they may have difficulty even understanding what’s going on, or could be in distress over the situation. Emergencies can be scary and for someone with autism, synthesizing what’s going on can lead to a lot of confusion and anxiety, or simply shutting down. Compounded with the fact that first responders cannot look at a person and realize they are autistic, an emergency situation that involves someone with autism could escalate quickly. 

So with April being Autism Awareness Month, this is a great opportunity to teach (Autism Speaks is a great place to start), raise awareness by spreading the word (HINT: Share this blog!), and provide the missing puzzle piece by registering those with disabilities, making sure their loved ones CAN be reached in an emergency.  


We have to be the voice for those who have lost theirs. 


Do you know someone on the autism spectrum who would find it difficult to communicate if an emergency arose? Are you thinking of that person now? This is your chance to register that individual with TIFF so that in an emergency, police and other first responders can contact a family member and get your loved one the help they need.

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