Sunday, January 25, 2009

PEI's Search and Rescue Presentation

In January 2007 I was asked by a member of the PEI Search and Rescue squad (someone I know from a local forum), if I could give a presentation to them on autism, since most were not able to take in Dennis Debbaut's daytime First Responder training seminar in September 2006. I agreed, though it was putting me way out of my comfort zone and area of expertize, but between my schedule and theirs, that presentation didn't actually happen until today.

With much thanks to Dennis' guidance and training videos, Phil's coordinating of the PEI SAR & I, and the helpful contributions of Josh's grandfather & SAR member Brian, things went pretty well. I had agreed to present Dennis' videos, fill in a bit around the edges from personal experience and depend on a Q&A session to try to give them the information they felt they needed to know.

The packed classroom of 30+ were attentive, asked great questions, and I felt we had a great discussion covering a wide range of issues. There was a 2nd grandfather of an autistic in the room and all 3 of us were able to give our different perspectives on various questions, scenarios & issues.

Thank you Phil for inviting me. Thank you Dennis for supporting & advising me and for sending me your yet-to-be-released First Responder video to show, and getting it here, just in the nick of time. Thank you Brian for your moral support and wise contributions. Thanks too to the SAR guys who took care of the technical end of things for me today. And to all the volunteers who make up PEI's Search and Rescue - thank you for today's great discussion and your kind words of feedback afterwards. Thanks especially for the work that you do and the work that you are prepaired to do. I hope you learned some valuable things today but I also hope you'll never have to put any of that knowledge to use in a rescue and/or emergency situation.

Thank you for helping us make PEI a better, safer, place for all autistics.
If I can ever be of assistance, please contact me.

The best part of the day for Alex was on the way there.... we went to the Dairy Queen for lunch since his buddies had given him a DQ giftcard on his birthday...

Thanks to you two too!!

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