Cards help officers with autistic citizens

Cards help officers with autistic citizens

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Autism Society, law enforcement agencies and the State of Alabama want you to be aware of a certain type of identification card.

It is a small yellow card, but it makes a huge difference for law enforcement when they come in contact with on the autism spectrum. And now, states all over the country are looking to Alabama for more information on how to get the cards in their state.

"It is used by people with autism in case they come in contact with first responders," said Bama Hager

These situations can be very overwhelming for someone with Autism.

"They may be nervous about even talking so not even that they didn't want to disclose that they have autism but they were just a little bit nervous you know coming in contact with someone in just a very unexpected situation and an emergency situation."

These cards help to ensure that first responders understand what that person in going through.

"That person needs to know what challenges a person might have so if they know that going in they can make that interaction safer," said Dustin Chandler with the Interaction Advisory group.

Several departments have their officers go through training to learn how to deal with a citizen with autism.

"No two cases of autism are the same just because you communicate with one person with autism one way it might be different with some body else so we teach them those nuances of communication," Chandler said.

That is where these cards really come in handy for the first responder.

"But the card is big because all that information is there it tells you that they may not understand instructions and that they may not understand certain things and it gives that care giver number,"

In fact, calling the caregiver is the No. 1 thing they ask of the officers in training.

"Cause the caregiver has a wealth of knowledge that will keep both the officer and that citizen safe," Chandler said.

Families can go and get an autism identification card at the county health department for more information visit this website: http://www.autism-society.org/

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