New Alert Card Available to Aid Autistic Individuals

Autistic children and adults will now have an alert card made availibile to them in order to aid them should they fall victim to a crime or are in an accident.

According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), autistic children and adults will now have an alert card made availibile to them in order to aid them should they fall victim to a crime or are in an accident.

“Being a victim of a crime or accident can be a stressful experience for anyone,” reported Robert Moffat director of the National Autistic Society (NAS) Scotland. "But for someone with autism, it can be particularly disorientating and frightening.”

NAS Scotland, a leading autism charity and awareness organization, is publicizing the importance of this card and is urging autistic teenagers and adults to apply for one.

"NAS Scotland is delighted to be in a partnership that addresses the unique challenges faced by people with autism in such a sensible, straightforward and effective way,” stated Moffat. “This is a crucial step in ensuring Highlands emergency services are autism aware, and helps people with autism in the local area access the same rights most of us take for granted."

Linda Schubert, headmaster of the Drummond School in Inverness, (an education center which aids pupils who require additional support needs) reported that she was very pleased with the new alert cards. “We are delighted the Autism Alert card is being rolled out and we expect there to be a great uptake among our pupils and their parents,” she stated.

Schubert continued to say that many of the autistic individuals who attend her school "are involved in a range of activities in the community and we can see many instances where the card could be of great benefit to our pupils, especially to those in secondary education."

The purpose of the alert card is not only to provide emergency contact information for a trusted caretaker or friend to help emergency personnel, but it also alerts such officials to the condition of the autistic individual.

Moffat stated that being aware of the condition of an autistic individual is vital for emergency and care services in order to help them.

“People with autism often have difficulty understanding facial expressions [and] can be very literal in their understanding of questions and easily misinterpret others' intentions. In an environment of serious crime or medical emergency these types of misunderstandings can have serious consequences,” added Moffat.

Supporting this initiative is the Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service, and NHS Highland.