Another piece of the puzzle
Jigsaw puzzle stickers identify homes with individuals on the autism spectrum
Another piece of the puzzle has been added to help emergency responders handle situations involving autism. Literally. Red stickers shaped like jigsaw puzzle pieces are now available from Autism Involves Me (AIM) and the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The stickers are used to let emergency responders know someone in a home has autism spectrum disorder.
The puzzle pieces follow a training session organized by the autism society in Port aux Basques in May.
A representative from the society explained to firefighters, police officers and paramedics how a person on the spectrum might react to them in an emergency.
AIM co-founder April Billard has two children on the spectrum, and she loves the idea of the puzzle pieces.
“That along with the first responders training gave me a lot of piece of mind,” Billard said. “As a parent of children with autism you’re always worried about if there’s an emergency situation and you’re not there to speak for your child.”
Billard said both her children speak, but in a stressful situation her son may not be able to find his words.
“If there’s a lot of loud noise and things like that he would be prone to hide away and I don’t know if they would look in the typical places,” she said.
Billard said along with an information kit, the puzzle piece will allow emergency responders to change the way they handle a situation and do it more effectively.
AIM co-founder Joan Chaisson said the stickers should be placed in the top right corner of a window on the front of the house.
Chaisson said the puzzle piece isn’t just for emergency responders, but anyone who comes to the door.
She said it would give people a heads-up so if they interact with the person in the home on the spectrum, they’re not surprised by any unusual behaviour.
“Your reaction would change,” she said.
Autism Involves Me co-founder Joan Chaisson holds the red puzzle piece and an information kit now available to parents. The puzzle piece goes in the window to let emergency personnel know someone in the home is on the autism spectrum. The information kit has tips for parents as well as a form they can fill out with information about their child that can be shared with emergency responders.