Health Chats
Learn How to Improve the Lives of All Affected by Autism
Wednesday Apr 25, 2012, 08:00PM - 09:00PM (EST)
Bridget A. Hewitt, RNBlankBlank
Did you know that half of all children with autism wander and more than one-third of those children are unable to communicate their name, address or phone number? In a recent survey from the Interactive Autism Network, wandering was ranked among the most stressful behaviors by fifty-eight percent of parents. To combat the fear and anxiety families experience, should their loved one with autism wander, MedicAlert Foundation offers medical IDs supported by a live 24/7 emergency support network.<br><br> MedicAlert’s Kid Smart program offers parents the extra reassurance that their children are protected in the event of an emergency. Emergency responders and hospital staff have immediate access to a child’s up-to-date contact and medical information to make the most informed decisions on treatment and care. MedicAlert Foundation services are designed to provide peace-of-mind and security. Take steps now to ensure that you and your child are prepared in case of an emergency.<br><br> MedicAlert Foundation pioneered the use of medical IDs and delivers the most dependable, the most responsive, the most intelligent and the most trusted Emergency Identification and Medical Information Network. MedicAlert provides the functionality of an e-health information exchange through an innovative combination of a unique patient identifier linked to a PHR and a live 24/7 emergency response service. In addition to its 24-hour emergency response service, MedicAlert Foundation International also provides family and caregiver notification so that members can be reunited with their loves ones. Visit www.medicalert.org for more information.
Nurse Bridget:
They are great for any child with an allergy, any medical condition, and any information that an emergency responder would need to know.
Nurse Bridget:
One very unique aspect for MedicAlert than any other medical ID service is that they have a 24/7 call service available to provide any information that an first responder or ER would need.
specialmom:
I wanted to comment on my own son that does not have autism but sensory integration disorder.  He at times has had a 'flight or fight' response in which he reacted with either aggression or taking off running.  Just wanted to comment that in those instances in which he ran, this would be very helpful. The umbrella of kids this could help is large.
Nurse Bridget:
Very true specialmom, MedicAlert is truly beneficial for many, many children.  
msyeli:
How do you help a teen with autism communicate better, especially since the teenage years make it tough for regular teens to communicate as it is.
Nurse Bridget:
Social relationships can be very difficult for people with autism.
Nurse Bridget:
The pre-teen and teenage years can be particularly hard on any child and adding autism to that can really make things difficult.
Nurse Bridget:
One way to handle this is to invite friends over.
Nurse Bridget:
Autistic children tend to be most comfortable in their own environment. Also, dealing one on one is a little easier for them.
Nurse Bridget:
Activities that encourage social interaction such as sports, scouts, etc are also good since they involve peer relationships as well as adult supervision.
auntiejessi:
My nephew has autism.  If he has the MedicAlert thing, will it work from anywhere in the US if we are traveling?
Nurse Bridget:
Yes, the MedicAlert system works throughout the entire US.  
rainbowsky483:
There must be a cost associated with these bracelets, what is it and do you have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for all the services?
Nurse Bridget:
the KidSmart program costs $29.95 for the first year and $20 each year thereafter to renew the membership
Nurse Bridget:
This cost includes a free ID bracelet ($9.95).
Nurse Bridget:
There are also other types of memberships that are geared towards adults.  This is an Advantage program that costs $45 for the first year and then $45 thereafter.  This is primarily for adults with any medical information that would be crucial.
Nurse Bridget:
I want to point out that MedicAlert besides providing pertinent medical information in times of emergencies also can provide family contact notification for however many people that you choose.
mountainair758:
can my child, who was recently diagnosed with autism, attend a regular public school?
Nurse Bridget:
Yes, many children with autism attend regular public schools.  
Nurse Bridget:
Many schools have inclusion classes which integrate a child with autism into the general curriculum.
Nurse Bridget:
Your child should receive an evaluation to determine what services he or she needs.
Nurse Bridget:
Early intervention is key, so you need to be your child's advocate and start those evaluations ASAP.
andyc6839:
How fast is the 24/7 MediAlert service? What are the critical pieces of medical information that would be included in the emergency medical record file?  What is the cost associated with your services?
Nurse Bridget:
When MedicAlert is called, the medical history will be accessed and reviewed within 20 seconds by a live representative.
Nurse Bridget:
Any pertinent medical information associated with your specific condition can be given at that time.  Everything from being insulin dependent, to having high blood pressure to be allergic to penecillin can be shared.
Nurse Bridget:
Once MedicAlert has been contacted, the family contacts are immediately notified and provided with updated information and to contact local emergency services
windysail:
If my child goes missing, do medic alert and the police department work together? If yes, does a parent get charged with neglect?
Nurse Bridget:
IF a child goes missing and is found with a MedicAlert ID, the authorites can contact MedicAlert to get a positive ID.  An immediate family notification will also go out to notify the family that the missing person has been found.
MedHelp:
Unfortunately, we only have time for one more question.
Nurse Bridget:
Auntie Jesse posted a question "I am confused, is this a monitoring device or an ID bracelet.  Does this work for wanderers?
Nurse Bridget:
MedicAlert is not a monitoring device.  It is an ID bracelet, but also so much more.
Nurse Bridget:
When emergency personel call the contact number, they will receive all pertinent medical information relative to the situation and  family contacts will be notified.