Tammy Anderson "Kids & Adults with Autism" NDPA Symposium 2012
Safer Water, Response, Kids and Adults with AutismBy Tammy Anderson, Henry Tirado, San Diego Sheriff’s Dept. Ralph Carrasquillo, Captain San Diego Fire-Rescue Dept.
Here are a few reasons why Aaron Steele Ryan Barrett Drowned Drowned in a pond in a lake October 2006 August 2009 Age 5 Age 14 Noah Burke Colum Canning Drowned Drowned in a creek in a hotel pool March 2008 December 2008 Age 4
We Need to Start Now Jared McGuire Kaitlin Bacile Drowned Drowned in a pond in a canal February 2006 September 2008 Age 7 Age 5 Thomas Pinkum Ashley Brock Drowned Drowned in a pond in a neighbor’s pool March 2008 May 2008 Age 7 Age 6
To PreventBenjamin Heil Bernard Latimore Drowned Drowned in a pond in a pool June 2007 September 2010 Age 7 Age 10And the list continuesto grow…
The Leading CauseMason Medlam Aiden Bell Drowned Drowned in a pond in a creek July 2010 April 2010 Age 5 Age 3Christian Dejons Luke Selwyn Drowned Drowned in a lake at a neighbor’s April 2010 March 2010 Age 6 Age 6
Of DeathAdlai Kugblenu Kaliya Sullivan Drowned Drowned in a pond in a neighbor’s pool June 2010 June 2010 Age 8 Age 7Zachary Clark Savannah Hauser Drowned Drowned in a pond in a pond August 2010 September 2010 Age 5 Age 3
For ThoseAnyah Glossinger Skyler James Wayne Drowned Drowned in a pool in a river January 2010 October 2010 Age 5 Age 8Nathan T. Kinderdine Aiden Lawson Drowned Drowned in a pool in a pond August 2010 February 2011 Age 7
With AutismJackson Kastner Savannah Martin Drowned Drowned in a river in a pond 2011 February 2011 Age 4 Age 7Adam Benhamama Blake Murrell Drowned Drowned in a river in a pond April 2011 April 2011 Age 2 Age 4
Newspaper Headlines“Kaden Seagraves drowned in a pond”“Autistic boy, Carlos Muniz drowns”“7 year old autistic boy found in the Salmon River”“Texas: Autistic teen Lance Benson drowns in backyard pool”“5 year old autistic girl drowned in her bathtub”
“5 year old autistic boy drowns in canal”“Tyji Chester found floating lifeless in city swimming pool”“Korey Penwall drowned in retention pool”“Autistic boy, Lucas Beaupre drowned”“11 year old with autism critical after near drowning”
“Jayson Allen 8, fell in canal and drowned”“Drowning in Surprise, 4 year old autistic boy drowns in backyard pool”“Jaden Fournier, 3 years old drowned in his backyard”“Alexander Covington drowns after sneaking from house”
Just in 2011“Monroe township: autistic boy died from accidental drowning”“4 year old autistic boy drowns in Davie lake after wandering from home”“Three year old boy who disappeared found dead from drowning”“Arizona: 5 year old drowns in golf course pond”“Colorado: 3 year old drowns in golf course lake”
We Need To START NOW! Stress the importance of water safety to families with children with autism. Teach swimming and implement autism- specific aquatic programs. Alert the parents to install alarms that notify the family if a child has left the house. Remind those with pools that they should maintain barriers around their pool even if they don’t have small children. Train parents in C.P.R and basic lifesaving skills.
To Save Lives Neighbors should be notified by families with a child with autism to the fact that their child may wander. Offer assistance and get involved with a local autism organization to spread the word. Work with first responders to identify bodies of water that should be checked first in a missing persons incident.
Take Me Home Henry J. Tirado Crime Prevention Specialist"Take Me Home" Program Administrator
Autism and Aquatic Emergencies Ralph Carrasquillo, Captain
Types of Aquatic Emergencies Drowning Seizures Lost or wandering person Heat exhaustion Slips and falls Head injuries Cuts and abrasions
Giving First aid to a person with autism, remember to… Maintain a safe distance, they may suddenly invade your personal space Use a calm, soft voice Speak in direct phrases such as… “Sit down,” “Stay here,” or “Stop and wait” Avoid slang language or idioms
Allow for a delayed response to your questions or commands Consider the use of pictures, written phrases and sign language Look for medical alert jewelry, tags, and tattoos, which may be labeled in their clothing Remain alert to the possibility of outbursts or impulsive acts If possible, have sirens and lights turned off
Model calm body language such as slow breathing and keeping hands low Model the behavior you want the person to display Minimize crowds and try to have only one caregiver at a time Be mindful of triggering the flight or fight response
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