MedicAlert offers program for kids with autism

With these new emblems, first responders will be better able to deal with emergency situations



A new Canada-wide medical alert program is providing peace of mind for caregivers of people with autism.  Autism Canada and MedicAlert Foundation Canada have created a program that informs first responders if a person they are helping is on the autism spectrum.

The program includes a new blue and red emblem designed to help paramedics, firefighters and police quickly identify people with autism who may need special care in an emergency.

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder causing communication problems, difficulty with social interactions and a tendency to repeat specific patterns of behaviour.  The condition isn’t always recognizable to those who don’t know the signs, and this can make those on the spectrum particularly vulnerable.

With the new program, if the person in trouble cannot communicate, first responders can call MedicAlert’s 24/7 Emergency Hotline to access a subscriber profile with  information about the individual’s anxiety triggers, routines, allergies or medications, and effective de-escalation techniques to help a patient who is agitated.

The program includes training for emergency responders, including police and paramedics, to look for the autism emblem, read the information and call the hotline, which provides service in 140 languages. MedicAlert will also notify family of the situation.

A one-year subscription to the program costs $60 for new members.

For more information, visit medicalert.ca/autism.

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