Your Thoughts on Autism Alert Bracelets

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StarTrekker
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01 Jan 2015, 1:20 am

This topic has been brought up before, but I was curious as to your thoughts on it. I recently designed and ordered a rubber bracelet that reads "I Have Asperger's" as a means of alerting people in potential crisis situations, or at other times during which I'm unable to access the card I carry in my wallet. I designed it to be more of a swirly pink, purple and yellow, rather than something that's obviously designed to scream "medical emergency" like red and white, so that people that I'm not actively trying to show it to in normal situations will pay less attention to it, thinking it's just jewelry.

Do any of you use autism alert bracelets? Have you ever had to use one in an emergency? What was its effect? Any of you wear them simply as a means of nonverbally explaining your behaviour to people who might otherwise be unpleasant toward you?


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steve30
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01 Jan 2015, 5:49 am

I personally wouldn't use one. My health is no one else's business, and I find things like bracelets uncomfortable most of the time.



FedUpAsp
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01 Jan 2015, 6:15 am

I never knew autism alert bracelets or cards existed. I'm not sure I'd use one, but I sure need a Medic Alert Encyclopedia for all my medical conditions in an emergency where I might not be able to respond. ;)



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01 Jan 2015, 6:29 am

I don't use those bracelets because I never wander and the times I wasnt able to speak are so far in between, so rare, and then only for minutes. I get confused and numb and unable to think on slight occasions, and always regain my senses rather quickly.

however, for some people, i think it can be much safer to wear those bracelets. and if they bother your skin, get a sensory one.


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pj4990
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01 Jan 2015, 7:59 am

They sound somewhere between patronising and pointless. The main point of [illess] alert bracelets is if you have a medical condition which can cause you to loose conciousness, if someone finds your unconcious they know what the most likely cause it. This is especially important if the best course of action contradicts the default medical advice. For example, if someone is unconcious with unknown cause, you shouldn't give them anything to eat or drink as they may choke on it and they may need surgery which requires no food or drink for as long as possible. If they have a diabetic alert bracelet, it's probably a hypo and they urgently need sugar.

Autism doesn't cause loss of conciousness. When it causes distress or inability to speak the way to deal with someone in that situation would be the same as anyone in a panic for any other reason, sit them down somewhere quiet and get anyone not medically necessary well away from them. No need for a bracelet to indicate you should do something unusual. If there was a condition where panic attacks were best treated by having lots of people jump and scream at you, a bracelet would be useful!



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01 Jan 2015, 10:13 am

pj4990 wrote:
They sound somewhere between patronising and pointless. The main point of [illess] alert bracelets is if you have a medical condition which can cause you to loose conciousness, if someone finds your unconcious they know what the most likely cause it.


The point of medical alert bracelets is more general: to communicate important information relevent to care providers and other people involved in responding to emergency/crisis situations when you may be unable to communicate for any reason at all. (Unconsciousness is not the only thing that can interfere with communicating important information about your needs or your health and it can be caused by injury and acute illness, not just specific chronic illness.)

The main point(s) of having a medical alert bracelet depends on the condition you have. People with potentially life threatening allergies aren't encouraged to get medical alert bracelets solely/primarily because someone might find them unconscious due to severe anaphylactic shock and not immediately know what was happening -- an equally important reason is so that in a crisis/emergency situation of any kind, emergency responders and others who are trying to help them won't accidentally cause them to go into anaphylactic shock by exposing them to their allergens.

An autism diagnosis may or may not be important/relevent information for other people to have, it depends on the autistic person and maybe also the specific situation.

pj4990 wrote:
This is especially important if the best course of action contradicts the default medical advice.


Interacting/communicating with and helping an autistic person successfully often requires actions and interpretation/judgement of behavior and words that differs from and/or directly contradicts what you'd do or how you'd interpret/judge the words and behavior of a non-autistic person in the same situation.


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pj4990
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01 Jan 2015, 10:31 am

I can't think of a first-response situation where that would be relevant or even where the person would be guaranteed to know what to do. Having some sort of public meltdown or anxiety attack is the only time where I would expect a stranger to intervene, to try to sort out a meltdown you'd need a pretty good idea it was autism related before you got close enough to see a bracelet and for anxiety I don't think it would be any different to dealing with an NT person having a similar problem. If there are differences, people rarely know them so there's not much point publicising it. For more long-term, in-depth things, that's not what bracelets are for, that's what telling people is for.

I really don't like the idea because it portrays autism as a problem people might not want inflicted on them and need warning to stay away from autistic people unless they're trained to handle them. This is probably not intentional, but it's what it comes across as. I'd rather people occasionally dealt with me badly than saw me as a danger to society.



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01 Jan 2015, 11:34 am

I have autism as the first item on my medical alert bracelet. It's not the only item on there, its also explicitly on there.

I do think it is relevant for me. I also don't think it is relevant in all cases. I think autism alert bracelets and medical alert bracelets for autism are very case-by-case dependent (like many things really).

My bracelet isn't at all about meltdowns and nobody who's seen it has taken it as such. People who see it for other purposes take into account that they need to communicate differently with me.

For my autism, I shutdown and when someone is completely non-responsive, and not doing stereotypical autism stims (because when this comes into effect is generally when my body has gone past rocking even because that's too much for it), people don't think autism first. People have assumed I'm in an abusive situation. People have assumed I was purposefully disobeying rules. Giving people the context allows them a way to respond to me - even if responding is as simple as moving away because they don't know what is going on.

Sharing autism is also more important when its combined with other disorders. In my case, I have severe migraines. Some are non-standard and do not look like migraines in symptoms. All of them are migraine with aura. During none of them can I communicate. During my bad sensory overloads I also cannot speak. Sometimes its hard to tell which is which. Treating me for a migraine when I don't have one can cause me harm. If you want to know what else is going on with me, you need to interact differently too. If its a sensory overload, probably give me somewhere to type and a lot of patience. If its a migraine, probably you need to wait it out, with treating the migraine. Waiting out a sensory overload doesn't work so well, because it needs treated based on how it particularly needs it, and if I'm in that sort of bad situation, I probably can't do that myself. So, again, communication is important whether its conciousness or otherwise impaired communication.


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01 Jan 2015, 11:58 am

I want to get one I don't mind it it looks like a normal alert braclett honestly my hope though is soft and chewy


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01 Jan 2015, 12:12 pm

Tuttle wrote:
I have autism as the first item on my medical alert bracelet. It's not the only item on there, its also explicitly on there.

I do think it is relevant for me. I also don't think it is relevant in all cases. I think autism alert bracelets and medical alert bracelets for autism are very case-by-case dependent (like many things really).

My bracelet isn't at all about meltdowns and nobody who's seen it has taken it as such. People who see it for other purposes take into account that they need to communicate differently with me.

For my autism, I shutdown and when someone is completely non-responsive, and not doing stereotypical autism stims (because when this comes into effect is generally when my body has gone past rocking even because that's too much for it), people don't think autism first. People have assumed I'm in an abusive situation. People have assumed I was purposefully disobeying rules. Giving people the context allows them a way to respond to me - even if responding is as simple as moving away because they don't know what is going on.

Sharing autism is also more important when its combined with other disorders. In my case, I have severe migraines. Some are non-standard and do not look like migraines in symptoms. All of them are migraine with aura. During none of them can I communicate. During my bad sensory overloads I also cannot speak. Sometimes its hard to tell which is which. Treating me for a migraine when I don't have one can cause me harm. If you want to know what else is going on with me, you need to interact differently too. If its a sensory overload, probably give me somewhere to type and a lot of patience. If its a migraine, probably you need to wait it out, with treating the migraine. Waiting out a sensory overload doesn't work so well, because it needs treated based on how it particularly needs it, and if I'm in that sort of bad situation, I probably can't do that myself. So, again, communication is important whether its conciousness or otherwise impaired communication.



^ this I agree, I also need one because I communicate primary through aac these days and whil I can speak I loose verbal very easily in emergancy situations and when I am overwhelmed and over stimulated, I also get migraines but not as often and I have insulnrsistances, I am also prone to wandering for me I need the bracelet to ne there when I can't communicate and to tell first responders that yes I communicate differently and may need communication aids and supports


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01 Jan 2015, 10:33 pm

ASdogGeek wrote:
I want to get one I don't mind it it looks like a normal alert braclett honestly my hope though is soft and chewy


This is where I got mine from. They're made of sillicone rubber (chewy and non-toxic) and you can design the style, size and colour. You can also request that they make it slightly thicker than normal (3 mm instead of 2) if you have aggressive chewing tendencies. You can order them individually or in bulk.

https://wristbandcreation.com/


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01 Jan 2015, 10:48 pm

I really hope that becomes a thing. I think it might help police and firefighters and airplane attendants and such a LOT if they only knew. Then they might be able to use some training or personal knowledge in dealing with autistics or those with Aspergers. As someone who is higher functioning, I'd keep my eye out for that on others in case of emergency or need arose.



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01 Jan 2015, 11:25 pm

I also use a silicone wristband - I use http://www.wristbandconnection.com/medi ... Wristbands

They also have ones that aren't medical alert, but I like the medical alert ones. And the ability to put a bunch of text on it, I use all the space.


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olympiadis
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02 Jan 2015, 12:38 am

StarTrekker wrote:
This topic has been brought up before, but I was curious as to your thoughts on it. I recently designed and ordered a rubber bracelet that reads "I Have Asperger's" as a means of alerting people in potential crisis situations, or at other times during which I'm unable to access the card I carry in my wallet.


I think it's an excellent idea all around.
I also agree with your choice of material.
I wouldn't wear a metal one.



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02 Jan 2015, 2:52 am

olympiadis wrote:
StarTrekker wrote:
This topic has been brought up before, but I was curious as to your thoughts on it. I recently designed and ordered a rubber bracelet that reads "I Have Asperger's" as a means of alerting people in potential crisis situations, or at other times during which I'm unable to access the card I carry in my wallet.


I think it's an excellent idea all around.
I also agree with your choice of material.
I wouldn't wear a metal one.


Thank you :) I wouldn't really like a metal one either, nor leather or fabric. When they get wet, they're really annoying, and I find that metal chafes, and the cheap kind usually oxidizes and turns coppery, or leaves your skin green!


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