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every weekend and runs one to three times a week with Stanley's RunUPEI group, I figured it was time to replace the old outdated bracelet with a new one.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.