by Heidi Cooley-Cook (taken from University of Louisville Website). Heidi Cooley-Cook is a Family Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center where she provides direct training and technical assistance to families.
“The National Autism Association reports that roughly 48% of individuals with ASD will attempt to elope from a safe environment. They go a step further and note that this is 4 times higher than their siblings who did not have autism. Along with eloping, wandering, drowning, fire safety, inability to communicate needs to First Responder and teaching fire safety are very common concern for parents, care givers and others who care for individuals with autism.
The Kentucky Autism Training Center has developed a series of webinars to address these concerns. The first webinar was conducted on March 19, 2014 and focused on Autism and Safety in the Home. Various rooms of a home were featured and products and tips were shared that may aid in making that environment a safer environment. A review of evidence based practices that may be used for teaching fire safety was also reviewed. This webinar can be found on the KATC’s YouTube channel.
In the second webinar (April 16, 2014), participants will learn tips to help prevent Wandering. The importance of engaging neighbors, first responders, and other members of the community will also be discussed.
KATC will partner with a fire fighter to gain insight for the third and final webinar Autism and First Responders (May 21, 2014). This webinar will provide an overview of autism and how the characteristics of the disorder may impact emergency situations. In addition, participants will learn simple strategies to engage an individual they encounter that may have autism. Building on the second webinar, the importance of building community relationships will be discussed.
When parents, caregivers, first responders, and others in the community collaborate individuals with autism can best be supported and kept safe. IF you are unable to join for the live webinar, these will be available on the KATC’s YouTube channel. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and you will be notified with new webinars are added.”