In a medical emergency, minutes and seconds count. When strangers come to help, it is important to give them the information they need to administer lifesaving treatment.
But not all strangers are good. Some prey on the young, defenseless and vulnerable.
One organization called Protecting Autistics has recognized the fact that some well-intentioned messages are in fact, informative to the wrong people. So they developed a window decal that balances the need of first responders to know how to help the child with the need of the child to be safe from predators.
Typical warnings include a phrase such as:
The problem with this type of advisory is that a child predator now knows how to locate a helpless nonverbal victim, either by following the vehicle home or stalking the house that bears the sign. In an effort to help the first responder, the notice has unwittingly helped the predator.
By not publishing specific details about the weakness of the child, the responsibility now falls on the parents to ensure that first responders know beforehand what to expect if they come to the home for an emergency.
Protecting Autistics advises parents to consult with law enforcement and fire and rescue crews regarding the effects autism has on a person and how an individual with autism will respond to a rescue in the home.
They further recommend that you meet with the law enforcement public relations department and submit a profile and photo of your family member with autism along with a window sticker that matches the one on your home or car window.
Finally, they suggest that you join the local autism community and work together with them to help first responders recognize and respond properly to the rescue of an autistic person.
Get your free window decal here (US only).