Autism Spectrum Australia Launch An Autism Alert Card

A new card has been launched to support people with autism in emergency situations.

 

A NEW card to help autistic people disclose their autism to others when they find themselves in a difficult or emergency situation has been launched by Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect).

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Local man Richie Goddard has autism and said the condition is a huge never ending continuum and possibly hard for people to understand.

He told News of The Area that a similar concept was trialled at Brisbane Airport for people living with an invisible disability and it was quite successful.

“Individuals can choose to disclose or not and to use the card or not,” said Mr Goddard.

“For those with autism they can vote with their feet on this but hopefully as humanity grows and becomes more understanding no one has to go through the disclosure catch 22.”

Aspect has produced the new Autism Alert card in collaboration with other adults with autism.

The card contains information for the person receiving the card as to how best to communicate with and support autistic people.

Mr Goddard remarked that for those who are undecided about disclosure to keep in mind that it is a choice and the card is an interesting concept.

Tom Tutton, Executive Manager of Aspect Practice said, “Aspect was contacted by a number of autistic people who identified situations like travelling through an airport or talking to the police where the stress of the situation made communication and participation difficult.

“The Autism Alert card was suggested as an aid to help other people to understand and respond positively, and to prevent misinterpretation of behaviours,” he said.

Clara Sidoti is one of the autistic adults who suggested the card.

She had been aware of similar cards being used by autism organisations overseas, and couldn’t understand why Australia didn’t have something similar.

“It’s a simple yet effective way for an autistic person to quickly communicate with others when they are in an emergency and may require additional assistance,” she said.

“I am really pleased to see the card being produced by Aspect and made available to those that feel they may need it. I hope that it comes in handy to those who decide to try it.”

Free copies of the card can be ordered through Aspect’s website www.autismspectrum.org.au/alert-card.

 

By Sandra MOON

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