A medical ID is recommended for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or autism. Autism is a complex medical condition that can impact a person's behavior and communication skills.
More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 59 children in the U.S. have autism. Autism is a serious neurological disorder and is considered an invisible disability that is not visible from the outside. There are no immediate or apparent signs that a person has autism. In an emergency, signs of autism are not readily visible to responders unless a patient wears an autism medical alert bracelet or necklace to alert others of the presence and challenges of autism.
“Emergency medical alert bracelets ensure that symptoms of autism, such as difficulty communicating and repeated actions or ticks, are not misdiagnosed by medical professionals. Wearing a medical ID clearly defines that these symptoms are linked to autism and that they are not caused by the medical emergency especially when time is of the essence.” – Madison House Autism
Common Forms of Autism
The range of autism spectrum disorders include:
Childhoold disintergrative disorder
Pervasive developmental disorder
A medical ID is recommended to all forms of autism disorder. Consider wearing a medical ID for yourself or for a child if they are under one of these spectrums.
Medical IDs and Autism in Emergencies
Autism is an invisible medical condition, often without visible symptoms making it difficult for responders to recognize in an emergency. Medical IDs can alert others that a person has autism. A medical ID can help with associated challenges:
An estimated one-third of people with autism are nonverbal.
31% of children with ASD have an intellectual disability.
Nearly half of those with autism wander or bolt from safety.
Nearly two-thirds of children with autism between the ages of 6 and 15 have been bullied.
Nearly 28 percent of 8-year-olds with ASD have self-injurious behaviors. Head banging, arm biting and skin scratching are among the most common.
Drowning remains a leading cause of death for children with autism and accounts for approximately 90 percent of deaths associated with wandering or bolting by those age 14 and younger.
“The first question a stranger is likely to ask your child is, “What’s your name?” So it is important that your child can be understood by listeners who don’t know your child. If your child will not be understood or can’t relay enough information, you could use medical identification jewelry, such as a bracelet. Some companies only engrave an ID number and the company’s phone number, and when the company receives a call, a company representative contacts the parent or guardian. Other companies engrave whatever you request such as “Autism – Nonverbal,” allergies, and/or your cell phone number.” – Organization for Autism Research
What to Put on An Autism Medical ID
Engraved information on a medical ID bracelet or necklace for autism can be helpful to anyone responding to an emergency. This includes onlookers, paramedics, fire fighters, and law enforcement. In engraving an autism alert ID, make sure that it contains accurate information that is easy to read, even in the most difficult situations like a severe autism meltdown.
Wearer’s name – this is to provide responders with a way to address and connect to the person with autism. You may want to engrave the name that the wearer is most familiar with and would most likely respond to.
Autism – include information about the wearer’s autism spectrum and special considerations such as if the wearer is non-verbal or if they may resist treatment.
Other medical conditions that may or may not be related to Autism - examples are epilepsy, seizures, or ADHD.
In case of emergency contacts
“Consider using a medical alert bracelet for an officer to read that alerts them to your condition and the fact that you have an information card.” -Autism Speaks