Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ID Bracelets - Alex's bracelet update/upgrade

This is Alex's Grade 1 school photo. If his wrists weren't cut off in the picture, you would see a Medic Alert bracelet on one of them. Alex's Medic Alert bracelet is, for all intents and purposes, an ID bracelet. Along with his name, it identified him as a "non-verbal" autistic and had our phone number on it. Until he was in high school he wore it 100% of the time.

When he was little, the very real possibility existed that he would disappear - either running off or wandering off, and if found, he had no speech with which to identify himself and/or his home. As he got older he began to speak (at age 6) but words came slowly, were not always spoken clearly enough to be understood by others, and he was not what I'd call "conversational".

The possibility that he would run off lessened but as he gained more independence and went more places the possibility of him wandering off remained. Alex seems to have been born with a built in GPS unit so it wasn't
him getting lost that was the issue, he can find his way home or back to

where he wandered off from easily enough, but if something did go wrong or he found himself in a situation where his actions and/or communication could be misunderstood, it was my hope that this could help.

Once Alex reached high school and had the verbal skills to identify himself and clearly state his address and phone number he mostly only wore the bracelet when he was running or biking or on his own in a novel place or a crowded one.


He wears it on his right wrist, his left is occupied by his watch and a growing collection of rubber bracelets that started with a Livestrong one and now number a half dozen or so (autism is not represented amongst them). It's worth mentioning that wearing any sort of bracelet was a major sensory issue for Alex when he first began wearing a Medic Alert bracelet. This is yet another example of how what once was a major issue is now a non-issue. Alex's autism at 4 looked very different from his autism at 12 and different again from his autism now at 19.

Now that Alex races pretty much every weekend and runs one to three times a week with Stanley's RunUPEI group, I figured it was time to replace the old outdated bracelet with a new one. Alex is no longer "non-verbal" and the phone number given (blacked out in the photo) will only get you to an answering machine - our phone line is always tied up with our computer(s) on the Internet via dial-up (because of that, I now have a cell phone so my kids can reach me). I've had my eye on these Road ID bracelets ever since I first saw them a couple of years ago (on the back of Alex's Road ID race bib at a run). We had 6 lines with 23 characters/spaces per line to work with and here's the result. (Thanx to Michelle and Alex's sister for helping with wording, the final wording was chosen by Alex) The yellow band he chose matches his infamous yellow shirt and yellow shoes.

9 comments:

Camille said...

I like that ID bracelet. The choice of wording came out very well.

Dinah said...

great - beautifully clear.
I wish I would be in the Maritimes again some time, and see it on his wrist....You have *so* done the right things with Alex his whole life through.
I could get very soppy and OTT about this and the fact that you have worked so hard to share with all of humankind what you've learnt along the way. jypsy, we love you.

laurentius rex said...

It ain't just my autism that looks different to what it was a 4 :)

I carry two cards,

http://www.autismwestmidlands.org.uk/webdocuments/autismalert.pdf

and

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=522

The first is rather unsubtle and the second underplayed, each have there uses depending upon the circumstances. The first card, although I do not like the organisation (and I do not think they particularly like me either) is that it has some official recognition, and the phone number on that will verify that I have a diagnosis.

However for most occasions when I am not unconscious the second suffices.

It is a bit ironic when amongst the other cards I carry, is my University ID but that is the nature of autism, it is a complex mix of strengths and weaknesses, and the cards have helped where I am at a disadvantage due to my communication difficulties, in hospital for instance.

jypsy said...

Larry, Thanx for the reminder...see my follow up post - Safety on the Run

jypsy said...

RoadID now has new "Interactive" models, more like the Medic Alert bracelets for those who don't want to put all that personal info on their child's wrist.

"Unlike Road ID Original, Road ID Interactive allows you to build a fully updateable, secure Emergency Response Profile (ERP) that is available to first responders 24 hours a day 365 days a year. You can still customize the first 2 or 3 lines of an Interactive ID (3 lines on a FIXX ID, 2 lines on every other style). The last 4 lines, however, are reserved to provide instructions on how to access your ERP in an emergency situation. Your ERP can communicate to First Responders your Name, Address, Emergency Contacts, Health Insurance, Medical Information, and more. For more information about Road ID Interactive, view the demo."

There is a phone number and URL first responders can contact. "the first year of membership to the Emergency Response System is FREE. Additional years of membership are only $9.99 – less than 84 cents a month."

Chauntel said...

I just found your blog & this post through google search while trying to decide which ID bracelet to get for my autistic son. He is verbal and of an age that he's starting to go with friends on bike rides around the neighborhood. Seeing how well the RoadID has worked here I am definitely ordering. He also is known to only wear orange or yellow.
Thanks, just great to have found you.

Vintage Jewelry said...

People should not be ashamed, it's important to be brave and give children such bracelets. Nothing bad can come out of it and it's only sensitive moments can help. Sometimes even a child can also get it well - with having a nice jewel.

Bubbles said...

Thank you for this. I have been looking for a bracelet for my son who has autism and some considerable issues with bolting. The small Road ID seems to be small enough to fit him. A google search lead me to this page. I realize it's an old page, but thought I'd leave a comment anyway.

Incidentally, we are also in PEI.

Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

If you like the Roadid you need to checkout Sportstagid. Better product and its 20% less.