By Erin Wilson, Founder, If I Need Help.org
Last year, New Yorkers rallied to change laws regarding school safety and making tracking devices available to vulnerable people. According to Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response and Education (AWAARE), a 2011 study conducted by the Interactive Autism Network through the Kennedy Krieger Institute found that:
- Roughly half, or 49%, of children with autism attempt to wander from a safe environment (a rate nearly four times higher than their unaffected siblings)
- More than one third of children with autism who wander are never or rarely able to communicate their names, address, or phone number.
As a mother of a child that has been severely affected by autism, I’ve had to deal with my son wandering on more than one occasion. After these awful experiences, my husband and I wanted to create a simple way to allow people to help our son if/when he is lost or wandering. So, we started a non-profit organization called If I Need Help that creates personal wearable QR codes.
QR codes are two dimensional barcodes that can be scanned by a smartphone or mobile device to hard link to or “object hyperlink” to a specific set of information or website. The QR codes we develop at If I Need Help are scanned or manually entered. From there, it links to a live profile to your child that can be edited in real time. The profile can be emailed to others when a search is needed. The barcode can be printed out with the free membership. We also offer personal codes on patches, pins, clips, ID tags for shoes, necklaces and ID cards. This way of identification and information is now also helping incapacitated people with mental illness, memory care or with physical conditions in which they may need help during critical situations.
Please go to www.IfiNeedHelp.org to learn more.
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