The Oxfordshire Autism Alert Card gives:
- Some basic information about autism
- Cardholder’s name
- Names and telephone numbers for 2 emergency contacts
An emergency contact may be a family member, carer or friend who has agreed to be a contact on the card.
- Carry your credit card sized autism alert card whenever you go out.
- Show your alert card when you need help or to give an explanation.
- It helps NHS staff, Police etc to know you’re on the autism spectrum.
- It helps you get assistance when you need it.
The Oxfordshire Alert Card is FREE
The Oxfordshire Alert Card is free of charge, people of all ages in Oxfordshire an easily identifiable and verifiable means of disclosing that they are on the autism spectrum
- Help autistic people in difficult situations find sources of local support
- Help Thames Valley Police, local emergency services and Oxfordshire organisations to identify they are dealing with someone who has autism
- Promote better management of issues and situations involving people with Autism
- Help Cardholders feel safer and more confident when out and about
- Provide Autism Awareness Training to Police Officers and PCSOs in Oxfordshire
- Enable Thames Valley Police to ensure all people with autism receive an excellent, fair and appropriate service from the police
- Enlist the help of the local media to raise public awareness of autism in our country.
In Oxfordshire there are an estimated 6,355 people on the Autism Spectrum, based on a ratio of 1:100 (Ratio source: National Autistic Society). Many remain undiagnosed.
- Autistic behaviour is easy to misinterpret. For example, someone on the autism spectrum can be easily overloaded by sights, sounds and smells in busy places. In a crowded area, they may hear every conversation as loudly as the next – this makes it impossible to focus on what you are saying to them and increases stress and anxiety. When overloaded, some may rock, tap, talk incessantly, pace or ask repetitive questions to try to keep control of themselves.
- If unable to cope with overload, meltdown may occur, resulting in a Fight, Flight or Freeze response
- Fight response – may lash out at people and/or objects
- Flight response – may try to run away
- Freeze response – may withdraw into themselves and shut down, becoming completely unresponsive
- All these responses are attempts to escape the overload they are experiencing – they are not in control of themselves. The person will not be able to change his or her behaviour until they have had a chance to calm down in a quiet, calm environment. For more information and advice, download our fact sheet.