The Autism Help App assists individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other disabilities to communicate and regulate in emergency situations. Using the book: The Incredible 5-Point Scale TM by authors Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis, AAPC Publishing the app helps individuals act, react and interact quickly in emergency situations. With a touch of a screen information is provided and can help facilitate interactions for a “safe” outcome for both the individual and 1st responder.
Utilizing the 5 Point Scale, individuals can easily communicate and regulate their level of anxiety and take appropriate steps to be safe without the need to be verbal. On the first screen levels are color-coded with different facial expressions, increasing based on the emergency or situation. For example, choosing a “1” may mean “I have a scratch on my leg and need a band-aid.” Choosing a “3” may mean “I have a headache and need to use my relaxation exercises.” Choosing a “5” may mean “I’m lost and can’t find my parents! I need a policeman.” Autism Help can be customized to fit an individual’s needs. Levels of “emergencies”, photos and responses can be individualized for each family. Photos of different emergency responders can be taken with your local First Responders so that the individual will recognize them, adding a mothers voice gives the individual immediate recognition to do something to be safe (“go to your safe place”).
Autism Help can also be utilized as a learning tool to help individuals with ASD and other disabilities learn to interact depending upon the severity of the emergency. Photos based on the level of anxiety can be of a 1st responder for 5 or for level 1 a band-aid, or fidget, or stuffed animal, again each level can be customized with photos and voice recognition to “Your own “Autism Help” app.
The Autism Society of Minnesota, AuSM® with grant funds from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, has developed this app to support our mission of helping families by enhancing the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders through education, support, collaboration, and advocacy. Visit our website to learn more about available resources for Emergency Preparedness for families, 1st responders and individuals.