In Fort Worth, Texas, a local man has teamed with officials from the Fort Worth and Keller school districts to help his autistic grandson, Adam Foster. According to the Star Telegram, Wayne Stuart was worried about his grandson getting “injured or harmed because the understanding isn’t there" when dealing with authority figures and law enforcement.
Due to his worries, he worked with the school officials to develop an autism identification card that they hope will catch on. These ID cards will be kept with the student, and contain useful information about the individual’s autism, and what may help them and what will trigger them. This information gives those with authority the ability to help with the children with autism and hopefully avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Is there a use for this and similar technology?
There are many other applications of a similar ID card technology as well. Statistically, police officers are more likely to interact with a person with autism than other people would, said the Star Telegram. Having the individual’s triggers, techniques for talking to them, and information on the individual’s condition will be helpful for law enforcement when it comes to de-escalating potentially stressful and triggering situations.
There are stories from all over the country about police and authorities inappropriately dealing with those with autism. These issues stem from a lack of understanding and communication. Those with autism in the situation find themselves stressed and confused, which leads to erratic behavior, which alarms the law enforcement officer and escalates the situation. These situations can become violent and have ended with unnecessary arrests and physical harm to those involved.