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C. Gammichia, B. Davis, D. Debbaudt, and J. Sell

"TITLE: "First Responders and Persons with Autism, Working Together in in Our Communities".

Tuesday,  January 21st at 7 p.m. (Eastern), Note portions of the text have been edited for spelling and grammatical errors, while other text with errors was left in tact in the context of the chat.

Rebecca {public msg} Hello and Welcome to our talkAutism Specialty Chat. If you have a question for our Host Guest Speaker's, "First Responders and Persons with Autism, Working Together in in Our Communities". Just type a "?" in the room. The names will be taken in order received. Please hold your questions until you are qued by the Moderator. Thanks!
Gammica {public msg} I'd like to welcome everyone. Jeff and Dennis were giving presentations in Ohio and Florida so they be a little late.
Jerryscott {public msg} ?
Gammica {public msg} I'd like to start off by thanking Ron and talkAutism for hosting this chat.
Gammica {public msg} I would like to thank Dennis Debbault and Bill Davis for being here today. I know they have busy schedules and this will be a wonderful opportunity for all of us to ask them some questions about first responders and persons with autism.
Nyceddie {public msg} ?
Autismfamily {public msg} What age should a child know how to call 911 and learn their address
Gammica {public msg} Autismfamily, I would base that one your child's abilities. But you have to realize if they were to need that information, they need to be able to give it to someone that can assist them.
Gammica {public msg} Bill, how would you answer that question?
Bill_Davis {public msg} We started teaching Chris when he was five
Autismfamily {public msg} Does anyone here have experience with that new $300 watch gizmo that works online to see where a child is?
Beaus_mommy {public msg} Yes I do Autismfamily
Autismfamily {public msg} Is your experience positive
Gammica {public msg} I have seen the device, however many children with autism may have a problem wearing such a big object on their wrist due to sensory issues.
Bigbear {public msg} As a parent of a learning disable child and community responder who do sport events with special o give apporach to a child with autism for first aid?
Moderator {public msg} Please wait to post your questions
Beaus_mommy {public msg} My son wore his on his ankle
Ron {public msg}I know of one of the companies making the gizmo; digital angel. some kids have trouble wearing it
Autismfamily {public msg} The ankle is a good idea, thanks for the input
Ron {public msg} ?
Gammica {public msg} Bigbear, first aid is tough becuae of sensory issues. I'd take the lead from the parent and then the child themself.
Bigbear {public msg} Sounds good

Moderator {public msg} Gammica are you ready for the first question?
Gammica {public msg} Bigbear, if those aren't available your instincts will tell you if the child pulls away or cries when touched.
Gammica {public msg} Yes, go ahead.
Moderator {public msg} Jerryscott ahs the first question
Bill_Davis {public msg} Injuries must be checked for thoroghly - our children tend to defer pain
Gammica {public msg} Bill that is so true, especially high temps.
Gammica {public msg} Jerryscott, go ahead please.
Jerryscott {public msg} Another gizmo is make by Wherify Wireless - this one is lockable to the wrist and designed to rough treatment
Autismfamily {public msg} That is the one I was thinking of forgot the name
Gammica {public msg} Jerry can we pass and go to the next question?
Jerryscott {public msg} Sorry, telecom problems

Moderator {public msg} Nyceddie you have a question
Nyceddie {public msg} I have a 10 year old, what types of things do I need to do or know about to help my child in a crisis?
Nyceddie {public msg} He is nonverbal
Jerryscott {public msg} I'm back on now
Daddy_o {public msg} Hi... I'm a firefighter in a small community. How do I find out whether there are autistic children in my community? Is there a database of something?
Bill_Davis {public msg} You need to know what calms him, how to redirect him and how he communicates
Gammica {public msg} I would say it depends on your child's coping abilities, the situation, and what you use to clam him.
Nyceddie {public msg} Should i inform the professioanls ahead of time
Nyceddie {public msg} So we are all prepared in an crisis
Gammica {public msg} I would suggest going to the LEAN On US site, in the files there is a section on dealing with crisis situations that Dennis Debbault put together.
Ron {public msg} Dennis, one of our speakers, worked very hard to get into the chat tonite. Give him a hand!!!!
Bill_Davis {public msg} Daddy_o, you might want to contact a local support group
Nyceddie {public msg} That sounds great thank you
Ron {public msg} Bill - you can find local support groups on expertfind ( )
Autismfamily {public msg} I like the idea of a national database, doesn't an organization have that like ARI
Nyceddie {public msg} How do i get on to lean on site
Gammica {public msg} the address is http:/ Law EnforcementAwarenssNetwork?yguid=100171964
Autismfamily {public msg} The search and respond feature for Eparent magazine would be a thought to try
Nyceddie {public msg} Thank you
Bill_Davis {public msg} We informed our local police about our child so that when our address comes up on their computer they know that they're dealing with a child with autism and some of his characteristics
Autismfamily {public msg} -this is called Exceptional parent
Daddy_o {public msg} Well what about some kind of insignia on a door or window? Is there any standard?
Debbault {public msg} I hope everyone is doing OK. Sorry that I'm late. Technical problems.
Autismfamily {public msg} I like the idea from years ago of a label on the front door
Autismfamily {public msg} I think UA has these labels

Moderator {public msg} Hi Ron you have a question
Gammica {public msg} The Illinois ASA chapter has window decals..their website is they are great for ID purposes
Ron {public msg} What should I do re. my 10 year old son, and hooking up with local police? What should they have on their computer about my son? (BTW I like the label )
Bill_Davis {public msg} We have just developed a decal for unlocking autism - it is for firefighters - it alerts them that a child with autism is in that room - go to UA website
Ron {public msg} Do i just call, and tell the receptionist?
Autismfamily {public msg} I think special ed classes should visit the police station and fire station
Gammica {public msg} If they have a 911 data base that can log info five them your sons name and diagnosis and when they pull the address up in an emergency situation it will show the info you provide.
Debbault {public msg} Ron, I have some info at my WWW site that might help you out. Try
Daddy_o {public msg} Are you instructing parents to put that at any single location (like, "always on the fRont door", or "always on the child's bedroom window")?
Bill_Davis {public msg} We visited the precinct and talked to the training sargent we then gave them info for their computer base.
Ron {public msg} Thanks, dennis and carolyn -- do we also try to educate them in some way?
Debbault {public msg} Hi, Carolyn, Bill and Jeff. Sorry that I'm late. Tech stuff.
Gammica {public msg} It is wonderful to ahve your child experience emergency personnel in their environment like the firestation and police department.
Bill_Davis {public msg} The sticker should be on the childs bedroom window or the most visible window
Bill_Davis {public msg} Hi dennis
Gammica {public msg} Hey Dennis, great to hear you. Thank-you for coming!
Moderator {public msg} Welcome dennis glad you where able to make it with us
Debbault {public msg} Yes, reaching out to your local law enforcement and first response agencies is a great first step.
Ron {public msg} so I'll call the police, ask them if they have a computer to log my child. Is that a fair summary?
Gammica {public msg} Have your children actually sit in police cars, experience the sirens, sit in an ambulance and have a blood pressure cup put on them. It will make a big difference.
Daddy_o {public msg} What kind of resources are available for educating emergency responders? Books, videos, coloring books (just kidding) ?
Bill_Davis {public msg} Seeing a fireman in his uniform is important too
Autismfamily {public msg} Good idea about experiencing the police car, I have two autistic kids and this would work for them
Gammica {public msg} Ron. Ask is their 911 system has a data base to log info or an inhouse computer that will track personal info.
Bill_Davis {public msg} Daddy_o go to this site -
JoJoe {enters}
Debbault {public msg} Teaching kids with autism basic recogntion and repsonse to the police and other first responders that they are likely to meet throughout their lifetimes should be stadard life skills education.
Gammica {public msg} Daddyo, don;t laugh. I use a cloring book al the time. Kids love them.
Ron {public msg} and then... tell them to write autism, that he might run, and get lost , doesn't talk, afraid of loud sounds, etc.??
Debbault {public msg} Standard, I should say.
Daddy_o {public msg} No, not the kids... the policemen, the firefighters, emt's.
Daddy_o {public msg} What kinds of resources are available to teach THEM about autism?
Bill_Davis {public msg} Let them know if he's nonverbal, agressive, etc.
Gammica {public msg} If you go to the Lean On Us site, or Dennis's site. They both list a variety of resources to use. They also list Bill and Dennnis books.
Ron {public msg} good, thanks all
Autismfamily {public msg} Since I am the single parent to two kids I have a envelope with details on the side of my refrigerator in case I pass out and someone comes to the home
Bill_Davis {public msg} Our video is also being used as a teaching tool -
Gammica {public msg} Autismfamily, great idea. But waht do you do when you go out or to the playground?
Debbault {public msg} Lots now, Daddy-O
Ron {public msg} Autismfamily - life would suck if that happened :)
Autismfamily {public msg} We dont go to the playground, the playground is here
Autismfamily {public msg} I have autism id cards

Moderator {public msg} Jerryscott has a question
Jerryscott {public msg} Recently there was a news article about an adult with autism who would not respond to police during an incident in a store. I believe that is mother was with him and attempted to intervene with the police. The encounter did not go smoothly although I don't know the whole story.
Jerryscott {public msg} I don't think anyone got hurt. On a related issue, I was recently speaking with a local group of parents and they were particularly concerned about have the local 911 to expedite a SAR call out
Jerryscott {public msg} (we are volunteer with about a 1 hour alert time) if their child was missing. What are your suggestions about how to interact with 1st Responders to ensure that pertinent information about your special needs child gets to the right people?
Bill_Davis {public msg} i carry an ID in my pocket about my son so that if I pass out or get injured and he is with me when they search for my identification they will find this card with info about Chris
Gammica {public msg} Jerryscott, yes that mother was criminally charged with obstructing the police
Debbault {public msg} Yeah, that was a tough one, Jerry.
Autismfamily {public msg} I am going to get the medic alert bracelet
Tue Jan 21 21:36:21 2003 Autismfamily {public msg} when my kids were in car seats the police gave us stickers and I had that data. Why not put labels or stickers on the back seat of the vehicle
Gammica {public msg} I made a rubber stamp with all my son's info on it when he used to elope. Thank-god we never had to use the info we stamped in his clothes
Autismfamily {public msg} or the window of the vehicle in case of an accident
Bill_Davis {public msg} chris (my son) wears an ID tag on his shoe
Autismfamily {public msg} good idea about the rubber stamp, the mailing labels keep falling off. I do keep them in backpack
Autismfamily {public msg} is the id tag on the outside of the shoe
Debbault {public msg} My son carries a generic autism/law enforcment handout
Autismfamily {public msg} in his pocket?
Gammica {public msg} Make sure also that you put the ID sticker on the child safety seat. In a motor vehicle crash children in seats are often removed from the car in the seat.
Bill_Davis {public msg} yes - around the eyelets of his shoe
Debbault {public msg} in his wallet
Gammica {public msg} Dennis, let them know how old Kellly is
Bill_Davis {public msg} this also attracts attention from the responder
Debbault {public msg} my son is now 19 years old
Autismfamily {public msg} You told a funny story last year at the LA conference about your son approaching girls on the beach
Gammica {public msg} It's amazing how imaginative you can get when you have a child that won't wear jewelry or carry a wallet. My son is finally carrying a wallet at 11 years old.
Debbault {public msg} yes. it was funny, but also illustrates his vulnerabilities
Gammica {public msg} I love that story...
Debbault {public msg} it was a good thing my wife was there

Moderator {public msg} Wawa you have a question to ask?
Wawa {public msg} is it a good idea or a bad idea to equip our kids with an "owners manual" in case of emergency? something they could keep in a pocket that describes them, their behaviors, meds, etc. we may be in the car, away from home, on a plane
Bill_Davis {public msg} everytime we go out we review safety, for example- at the mall we constantly review where to get help and also go over friendly storeowners that he knows
Jerryscott {public msg} We made t-shirt iron-ons for my daughter it is usually the last thing she takes off when she runs away.
Gammica {public msg} Dennis, you are right. Nick used to love blonds, but it isn't cute to go up and stare after the age of four.
Autismfamily {public msg} what do the iron ons say
Debbault {public msg} it's a good thing, Wawa
Debbault {public msg} or 54
Daddy_o {public msg} as an emergency responder I think this would be great! Problem is... does an autistic person have the "where-with-all" to show it to us?
Autismfamily {public msg} ?
Bill_Davis {public msg} Chris knows to lift his shoe when asked his name or where he lives
Wawa {public msg} no, but you might have the presence of mind to look for it on a non verbal kid like my dude
Bill_Davis {public msg} he also knows how to tell someone where he lives and his phone number
Jerryscott {public msg} "Hi, I'm Anna - I'm autistic and run away. Please contact local security if I am alone. It also listed our phone and cell phone numbers.
Gammica {public msg} Daddy0, that is a very good question. It's just like any tool, if you don't know how to use it it won't work. It depends on the funcitoning level fo the person.
Bill_Davis {public msg} he also carries a small PECS wallet with icons for address and contacts incase he wants to fall back on that type of communication
Daddy_o {public msg} Wawa, no offense meant by my question.
Debbault {public msg} the wherewithall needs tio be taught, early, often and in the school/home settings
Daddy_o {public msg} I'm a volunteer firefighter...
Bill_Davis {public msg} all answers depend on the individual child
Daddy_o {public msg} I only make it to about 25% of the calls we have... and the other guys in my squad sometimes aren't so "bright" (if you catch my meaning).
Gammica {public msg} We actually had to do a practice run through with our son in the mall. We let him go and had someone he didn't know follow him. He did go to an information desk and was able to give his name and phone number. It was very hard to do though.
Bill_Davis {public msg} we do practice runs also in the mall
Wawa {public msg} no offense taken
Bill_Davis {public msg} but Chris dialed 911 once when his TV broke
Gammica {public msg} Dennis, I agree. As you've said, health and safey issues should be laid out in IEPs.
Gammica {public msg} Hey Bill, My husband does that
Gammica {public msg} ?
Debbault {public msg} Good point, Carolyn
Joel_Kogen {public msg} ?

Moderator {public msg} Autismfamily you have a question?
Autismfamily {public msg} Do you know if the LAPD has any experience in learning about autism, anything in the works, conferences, is there a team here?
Gammica {public msg} Detroit,..that's pretty close.
Bill_Davis {public msg} We have received contact from them about our video -
Gammica {public msg} LAPD is doing some training in disabilities. They have a state commission now.
Autismfamily {public msg} oh that is good to know
Autismfamily {public msg} with a new police chief this might increase too
JoJoe {public msg} Just want to say hi. Never been in a chat room before so I'm trying to keep up.

Moderator {public msg} gammica did you have a question?
Gammica {public msg} Bill, tell us how your video will help first responders?
Debbault {public msg} and oldies palying on the radio, too
Gammica {public msg} In ten words or less of course.
Bill_Davis {public msg} The video addresses police, firefighters, emergency room & abulance workers and retailers in different sections with overviews
Nyceddie {public msg} Does the video cost anything?
Gammica {public msg} Did you film actual sequences?
Bill_Davis {public msg} sry dennis 5 words too many
Nyceddie {public msg} And how long is it?
Bill_Davis {public msg} 39$ for the video
Bill_Davis {public msg} about 95 mins.
Ron {public msg} wow!
Nyceddie {public msg} Thanks
Ron {public msg} can ems get continue education credits for it?
Debbault {public msg} verbose is my middle name, Bill.
Wyldflowr {public msg} anyone heard of geneva center?
Bill_Davis {public msg} no we havent cleared that yet - we're working on it
cyn {public msg} yes
Gammica {public msg} Yes, geneva center has a great website. I also attended their conference two years ago andit was great.
Ron {public msg} thanks bill
Wyldflowr {public msg} anyone heard anything about their autism intervener certificate ?
Gammica {public msg} I've heard of it, they have info on their website
AustinsMommy {public msg} what is geneva ?
Wyldflowr {public msg} I've seen the info on their website...
Gammica {public msg} It's a center in Toronto
AustinsMommy {public msg} oh ok
Moderator {public msg} Joel_Kogen you have a ?
Joel_Kogen {public msg} yes
Joel_Kogen {public msg} is it a good ideal to get a specail need ic card from the state for a Child with autism
Joel_Kogen {public msg} ops ID
Wyldflowr {public msg} just wondering whether anyone had heard anything about the program... whether worth while etc. thanks for your help
Joel_Kogen {public msg} ok thx
Gammica {public msg} Yes, Any ID card is great. They will also then have their info in the state's data bank.
Daddy_o {public msg} I've never heard of the Intervener Certificate... What's its purpose?
Wyldflowr {public msg} daddyo-that's sort of what I am wondering...
Wyldflowr {public msg} have already had some training through geneva... very intense.
Gammica {public msg} For state issued ID's in Michgan. The card will have the same information available to police as a drivers license would. They are good to have.
Gammica {public msg} boy, I wish we could jsut talk to each other. Ron work on that will you. My typing is brutal!
Autismfamily {public msg} we need voice chat.
Moderator {public msg} JoJoe you have a question.
JoJoe {public msg} Does that mean they would be entered in the state police data base like any one with a drivers licence.
Gammica {public msg} In the state of michigan yes. That way if a child can say his name, but does not remember the address the info can be ran via a data base with the Secretary of State.
JoJoe {public msg} Good
Moderator {action} . o O ( Dear Hosts, would anyone like to share any final thoughts with us tonight? )
Wyldflowr {public msg} I am currently working with a child with autism who is getting a service-safety dog....anyone here have any experience with this?
Gammica {public msg} Dennis, do you think more should be done as far as forensic interviewing?
Gammica {public msg} Yes, Service dogs are wonderful!
Bill_Davis {public msg} I always wanted to thank Dennis publicly for his fine work and dedictication --- just listen to and love your children.
Autismfamily {public msg} I got lost, but wanted to say that national geographic has a show on daily about dogs that work with disabled.
Gammica {public msg} I'd ask everyone to visit Dennis's website and please buy both Dennis's and Bill's books. They really can answer many of your questions more indepth.
Debbault {public msg} Forensic interviewing of the victim-witness, videotaping of all perpetrator interrogations, more training/awareness for correctional professionals--we have a lot on our plates as advocates as our kids--and us--grow older.
Nyceddie {public msg} Where can I find out more info on the Service Dogs?
AustinsMommy {public msg} Wyldflowr how do u get one of thos dogs?.... my son is a runner and he is really fast and im in a wheelchair and am alone with him a lot.
Gammica {public msg} I'd like to thank both Dennis and Bill. They have porvided valuable info to many folks that have help many individulas affected by autism.
Debbault {public msg} Thank you, too, Bill. We need more vocies like yours and carolyn's out here.
Autismfamily {public msg} Thanks guys.
Moderator {public msg} Yes Dennis and Bill and also you Gammica, THANK YOU very much for spending the time with us tonight.
Rebecca {public msg} It was great having all of you here tonight ;)
Daddy_o {public msg} I guess that was his "final thought".
Autismfamily {public msg} do a google search for guide dogs for disabled and that should give you some websites.
Wyldflowr {public msg} austinmommy... well it's a very long process apparently. not sure if there are training centers where you are but there is only onetraining center in canada I believe... here in ontario. you apply, send video of why you need one, get accepted and pay 12,000$ LOL
Rebecca {public msg} Thank you!
Rebecca {public msg} the chat room is open 24/7 please feel free to stay
Wyldflowr {public msg} austinmommy.. sounds like a great option for you though
Gammica {public msg} Dennis, we need some national legislation on training for all first responders...let work on that. You and Bill will be busy for quite some time then.
Debbault {public msg} We all will--and it's good work.
Moderator {public msg} Dennis I have a did first responders get its name?
Nyceddie {public msg} Thank you for a informative evening
Gammica {public msg} Bill has to go back to work. He took a break to be with us.
Wyldflowr {public msg} austin... most familie that I know that i have them, have raised the entire cost of the dog in fundraisers... and it's great for raising awareness for autism
Autismfamily {public msg} oh that was great
Debbault {public msg} first on the scene. In England and Europe these fine folks are called initial responders. different words, same tough job.
Moderator {public msg} Debbault, I had a son with a similar illness and I just wish chat rooms where around with careing people...thank you
AustinsMommy {public msg} would be something to check into tho to see if they have something like that here
Ron {public msg} Thank you Carolyn for putting such a great team of experts together, and for all the great input by all our experts. Thanks for navigating the discuss, Ms Moderaotr
Rebecca {public msg} you are all welcome back anytime, check the boards here for talkautism topics also!
Gammica {public msg} Thank-you, wonderful forum and great questions. Best wishes gang and keep your prayers alive for first responders.
Moderator {action} . o O ( remeber this room is here to be used with or without Moderators )

Please feel free to join in the discussions on the talkAutism Discussion Boards at any time!

For past talkAutism Specialty Chat transcripts:


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