Understanding Autism For Dummies
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For many people with autism any disruption of their routine is overwhelming, and a real emergency situation is enough to throw anyone off-balance. So, if you have a loved one with autism, it pays to prepare as best you can before an emergency arises. Use the following tips to prepare your autistic loved one and your whole family:

  • Consider attaching an identification sticker to the door or window of an autistic person’s home to prepare a person coming in to help.

  • Create or purchase a medical alert tag, bracelet, or other notification that identifies a person with autism.

  • Network with relatives, friends, and others to establish a web of contacts for assistance if needed.

  • Register the person on the autism spectrum with the community 911 service as a person with a disability.

  • Have an evacuation plan, and review and practice it frequently with the person on the autism spectrum.

  • Project a sense of calm. People with autism often sense and reflect your emotion.

  • View more on disaster preparedness at the following locations:

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Stephen M. Shore received a regressive autism diagnosis at age 18 months, became nonverbal, and was deemed “too sick” to be treated on an outpatient basis. Today, he’s finishing a doctoral degree focused on helping people with autism lead fulfilling and productive lives. When not teaching college-level courses in special education and teaching children with autism how to play musical instruments, he consults and presents on autism-related issues internationally. Some topics of particular interest to him include comparative approaches for helping people with autism, education, and disaster preparedness for people with disabilities. He also focuses on challenges faced by adults in terms of self-advocacy, disclosure, post-secondary education, employment, interdependent living, and relationships.
Stephen holds bachelor degrees in music and accounting and information systems from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He also holds a masters degree in music education and is on the cusp of finishing his doctorate in education from Boston University. Although he seems to spend most of his time traveling in airplanes (Boeing 747-400 preferred), he resides in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife on the rare occasions when he’s home.

Linda G. Rastelli is an award-winning journalist, instructional designer, and author with 20 years of experience in writing and designing instruction for health, education, and business topics. In her career, she has focused on making complex and technical information understandable to the layperson. Although she has covered subjects ranging from financial ratio analysis to educational reform, her most challenging inquiry to date — an undertaking that has made her other projects look like finger painting in comparison — has been autism.
Linda holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Delaware and a masters degree from Columbia University. She lives on the New Jersey coast with her husband and her cat, who have reached a blissful state of detente. She hopes to keep her day job.

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