Tuesday, January 30, 2018

In Case of Emergency, Pt. 1

When it comes to autism the world is already overloaded with an incredible amount of facts, myths, and misconceptions. I don’t want to add to the overload. I do, however, want to share information that I find many people I’ve encountered don’t know or haven’t thought about. One such subject is what to do in case of emergencies. On rare occasions, I get to sit and chat with other moms who have disabled children. We talk about the usual drudgeries of housework, meal planning, work woes, endless errands and sleepless nights, but we never talk about emergencies and what to do. So I figure this is a great place to start the conversation.

My son is a teenager diagnosed with autism, epilepsy and is non-verbal. I’d like to think of my self as a fairly savvy mom, having all the checks and balances when it comes to my son’s needs. I even posted information on his bedroom door for what to do should he have a seizure along with my contact information in bold font. And then my son has a really bad seizure. I managed to keep my head together while talking to EMS and comforting my son. One of the Paramedics noticed the information I posted. He said it was good that I had information posted, but it would be better if I had more of my son’s medical history and medications posted as well. Until that moment, I had not given any thought to posting that much information because they could always get the information from me. What if I wasn’t home? Would my son’s caregiver know what information to give? No. She would have to call me or the QP (Qualified Professional)and hope one of us would be able to answer the call. I don’t ever want to be in that position. So I took the paramedics advice to heart and came up with this list of information to post.

Current Prescription Medications (List psychotropic medications first)
Non-prescription drugs/Vitamins/Supplements
Medication Allergies
Primary Diagnosis
Primary Care Physicians
Hospital of Choice
Medical Record Number
Insurance Information
Date of Birth
Guardianship Information (for adult children)
Experience with First Responders (good or bad)
Ability to tolerate exam and IV catheterization
Interests/Methods for Calming
Choking Hazard
Dietary Concerns/Food Allergies
General Information
Next of Kin
Emergency Contacts (at least 3)

Another thing you can do is check with your local MCO (Managed Care Organization) or NAMI (National Alliance On Mental Illness) to see if CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) is available in your area. If CIT is available, check to see if they are trained on how to help patients and individuals having autism or other I/DD. It may be beneficial to request a CIT trained first responder when making a “911” call.
More information about CIT https://citdurhamnc.org/about/

When making a “911” call It is important to share pertinent information so dispatch can send appropriate help to you. Let them know the following:
If the patient is Autistic or has other Intellectual disability
Best Way to Communicate with Patient
Ability for Patient to Understand Instructions
Methods for Calming
If the patient is taking psychotropic medications
If the patient has experience with emergencies/first responders

You can also request that the lights and siren be turned off when they reach your neighborhood if you think it may upset your child/loved one.
Create your own Medical information list or use Vial of Life http://www.vialoflife.com/how_to_use_the_vial_of_life/. You can place it on your fridge, in your car, carry it in your purse or put it in an emergency kit.  Order as many as you need. It’s free!

Also, it would be a huge help for you have your medical information available should you have an emergency and an emergency kit for your child/loved one. Emergency kits should contain the following:
Contact Information
Medical/General Information
Medications (at least 1 weeks worth if possible)
Changes of clothes
A couple favorite items
Instructions for food preparations if on special diet
A re-loadable visa gift card for purchases


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Library Installs Stationary Bikes to Help Kids Read

I think this is the coolest thing ever. How ingenious to install stationary bicycles in a school library. And though I think this is the best idea since sliced bread, I could not help to think about my fellow homeschoolers. How awesome would it be to have a similar set up in your homeschool. Can you picture it? Reading Bikes for Busy Tikes. I love it! Wait, I just thought of something; there's a toddler learning station that came out a few years ago. Fisher Price Think and Learn Smart Cycle

How clever someone to take a wonderful idea to the next level. Not only can a child learn while moving, they can also get plenty exercise. Perfect!

Here's video about the stationary bikes installed in a school library. The little boy interview was the sweetest part of the video. Library Installs Stationary Bikes to Help Kids Read

To my fellow homeschool parents out there, if you have a little one who's need for movement outweighs all else, consider incorporating movement into learning time. If you don't want to go the bike route you may want to try placing a mini trampoline (with safety rail) in classroom where they can bounce while learning. Try different things to see what works best for you.

For good bargains on used equipment visit Play It Again Sports. See if they have a location near you.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Never To Soon For Planning a Safe Summer

It’s never too soon to start planning for safe Summer activities. Information is now available on the AngleSense blog about research results on GPS systems and the positive impact these systems have made in families with children having disabilities. I've included the link below.
I don’t think it’s a bad idea to look into GPS systems for older/adult children or family member. Definitely, something to look into, especially while planning summer camps and vacations.
New Study Shows Why You Should Get Your Special Child a GPS Tracking Device This Summer

Best wearing options for AngelSense GPS tracking device

As we begin to settle into the new year, let us look into ways to not only increase safety for our children and loved ones but also increasing our quality of life. With a GPS system in place, you and your family will be able to explore new adventures while feeling more confident in your day to day goings.
Happy Planning!!