Special Needs Registry Can Save Your Child’s Life In An Emergency

By AASLApril 9, 2018

I have two beautiful daughters, one of whom is 13 and has Autism. She has made so much progress over the last decade with us wrapping as many services around her as possible and with countless interventions. However, she continues to have significant deficits in her communication skills, social skills, and her anxiety heightens significantly when she is under stress.

This is why the Special Needs Registry is so important for my daughter and others with special needs.

Special Needs Registry Could Save Your Child’s Life

As a mother with a child on the autism spectrum, I believe this initiative is invaluable, not only for the well-being of the family, but also for first responders. If they are responding to an emergency call from a residence, they will be informed of circumstances and information that will help them better prepare in their response and prevent potentially devastating outcomes.

Communication Limitations In An Emergency Situation

Children and adults with autism are sometimes faced with communication limitations, social ineptness, high levels of anxiety, and behavioral issues, ranging from self-stimming, soothing behaviors, to high levels of aggression.

They may not understand commands given to them by a police officer and this could be mistaken as a threat to that officer. I applaud Chief Dugan for taking this very important step in helping to keep our children and adults with autism and intellectual disabilities safe in the City of Tampa.

Why This Matters For My Daughter

I have personally filled out the registry form. It took only a few minutes, it was very easy, and it allowed me to provide first responders with information pertinent to my families’ situation, i.e. my daughter can spell terrifically and with the use of a paper and pen, or an iPad, she can sometimes better articulate herself when not being understood verbally. If first responders know this, they can act accordingly, should my daughter ever need help.

Sign Up & Spread The Word!

As parents, you spend so much energy planning for how best to take care of your child with special needs, and this is one thing that can help in that endeavor. God forbid we ever need a first responder at our home, but I am assured that they now have the information necessary to better help my family in this type of situation.

Spread the word to other parents of children with special needs! This is one step to making Tampa a more special needs friendly city.

Holly Marino

Business Operations Manager – All About Speech and Language



DISCLAIMER: Information published about one particular disorder does not necessarily apply to every individual who has the disorder discussed in this article. Treatments and therapies are highly individual and must be customized to the needs of each person to be effective. Do not make changes to your/your child’s treatment plan as a result of what you read in this article (or any content published by AASL) without consulting your/your child’s physicians and therapists. This content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of All About Speech and Language or its therapists. To understand the opinions and recommendations of your/your child’s AASL therapist, schedule an appointment with your therapist to discuss your concerns.

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