Families/Individuals affected by Autism


Safety Handbook for Parents/Caregivers – This is an excellent summary of the major safety issues that may impact individuals with ASD.  It is crucial that all parents/caregivers be aware of these issues at the time of diagnosis.  This information can save lives.  This summary was co-authored by Matt and Nancy Brown.


Tips for interacting with First Responders – Matt provides important tips for teaching the person with autism how to interact appropriately and safely with first responders.

Wandering Resources

Big Red Safety Tool Kit – This is a comprehensive resource for families that gives step by step guidance on how to keep your loved one safe in many different environments.  Even if you do not think your loved one is prone to wandering, this resource is still a must read.

Tracking Technology Explained – If you are considering tracking devices for your loved one, this gives you the basics of what you need to know.  It is an excellent starting point.  This great resource is provided by the National Autism Association.

Resource Library of Safety Products – This is a great resource put together by Autism Speaks which includes many products and tips that can be used to keep your loved one safe.

GPS Tracking Devices – There are numerous tracking devices available to protect your loved ones – they typically come with accessories that would allow you to attach to clothing or wristbands and even shoelaces.  There is often an initial investment and then monthly service fees.  Here’s a list of 7 such devices to research.  This is not an endorsement of any specific product.

Project Lifesaver International – PLI works with participating law enforcement agencies to track lost individuals using Radio Tracking (RF) technology.  Families are urged to enter their zip code at the PLI home page to see if this service is being offered in their area.

Parent to school safety letter – This is a great resource for parents to provide potentially life saving, unique information about their child and any wandering tendencies so that the schools can then make a plan in the event of an actual wandering incident.

Sample IEP Letter from AWARE  – This is another great resource for adding a wandering/safety component to an IEP.

911 script for parents – In the event of a wandering incident, it is crucial that very unique information about their child be communicated immediately to emergency dispatch.  However, it is very difficult to do that in an emergency situation.  This is a script that parents should post on their refrigerators in the event that a wandering emergency actually happens.  It will prompt them to provide the very crucial and time sensitive information necessary to locate their child.

Autism Registration Form – This sheet can be filled out and presented to you first responder agency, for them to input into their 911 system, so first responders will know they are interacting with a person on the autism spectrum.

Podcast interview with Matt Brown regarding autism safety issues with a special emphasis on wandering (please cut and paste the link into your browser)  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/34-officer-matt-brown-on-why/id759143885?i=313698242&mt=2Crime Victim’s Rights & Services

Autism & Wandering – This is an article co-authored by Matt Brown & William Fuller regarding wandering and the importance or registering individuals with ASD with local area law enforcement.  It appeared in the Autism Society Newsletter, Winter 2015.

Fire Safety

ASM Guide to Fire Safety for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders –   Fire Safety Tips authored by Matt Brown as an Informational Specialist for the Autism Society of Maine

Autism and First Responders:  Seeing Beyond the Smoke – Excellent 22 minute video which discusses fire safety with this population.  This is a training video created for first responders in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania & is applicable to all first responders.Other Resources

Help for Families/Relatives of Crime Victims

Protecting Loved Ones with Autism – This excellent 3-part article was featured in the “Advocate,” an Autism Society publication, in 2003.  It discusses the unique safety concerns families with autistic loved ones face.