Katy Autism Support is in recess for the holidays. We will resume January 19, 2016
CareStarter Connections App Launched in Houston, Texas, May 18, 2015
CareStarter Connections App is a complete resource guide for families of kids with special needs, and best of all, it's free! The goal is to connect caregivers with providers, organizations and other resources in their community to help them along their path of care. The Connections App, powered by CareStarter Technologies®, facilitates the delivery of comprehensive, individualized, coordinated care at a time when caregivers need it most. To learn more, click on this link:
Join the Conversation...
Katy Autism Support is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to educating and empowering families living with autism in Katy, Texas. We engage in lively conversation on our Yahoo Group on all topics related to autism. There are more than 600 members participating in the online support group, many whom have a great breadth of knowledge and experience. We have monthly meetings with speakers from the national level to professionals and providers from our own community. KAS is also dedicated to raising awareness of the needs of local families, and advocating for the fair, respectful treatment of all children regardless of the presence of a disability. We have been involved in building bridges to schools, faith-based organizations and other private sector entities in Katy and across the country.
Come Find Us:
Join Katy Autism Support by clicking on this link Katy Autism Support click "Join This Group!" and leave a few sentences to let the moderator know why you want to be a part of KAS. Most memberships are approved in 24 to 48 hours.
Find us on Facebook by typing Katy Autism Support in your Facebook search bar or click on the link below if you are viewing this from a mobile device, or go here to "Like" us! https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Katy-Autism-Support/126446120715312
Meet us in person by attending support meeting. Meetings are held at St. Peter's United Methodist Church every third Tuesday from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm in Asbury Hall. Located at 20775 Kingsland Blvd., Katy, TX 77450.
For more information about monthly meetings, this website, other questions regarding KAS, please send an email message to Cynthia Reece at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free childcare is available at monthly support meetings but a spot(s) must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance; please contact Sarah Morrison, special needs ministry coordinator ONLY to RSVP FOR CHILDCARE at email@example.com. Please contact Cynthia Reece at firstname.lastname@example.org
for other questions and requests. You do not need to RSVP to attend a meeting.
Wandering and autism
In our state of Texas, 21 people with autism have gone missing since 2011, and 6 were found dead. Wandering in the autism community has become all too common with an estimated 49% at risk according to a 2012 study in Pediatrics. Sadly, many of our children with autism die alone, scared, and without the ability to call out for help.
With extensive search and rescue efforts that average an estimated cost of $150,000 to $350,000 per search, taxpayers are already reactively paying for this issue. We're asking for your help so that as a nation, we can invest proactively into saving priceless lives.
Children and adults who are unable to speak or recognize danger are the most vulnerable citizens in our country.
National Wandering Statistics:
- In a recent NAA online survey, 92% of the respondents said their autistic child was at risk of wandering.
- Wandering is the most life-threatening behavior associated with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) (Source: Alzheimer’s Association)
Katy Autism Support partnered with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s department in 2011 to implement Project Lifesaver International. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Justice Programs/Bureau of Justice Assistance our organization was awarded grant funding. Project Lifesaver helps provide rapid response to save lives and reduce potential for serious injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome, dementia and other related cognitive conditions. Project Lifesaver provides equipment, training, certification and support to law enforcement, public safety organizations and community groups throughout the country and nation.
If you have a loved one who has a tendency to wander/elope and lives in Fort Bend County, please contact Fort Bend County Deputy Jean Gobar at 832-473-2761 for more info on how to acquire a small personal transmitter, which is worn around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. Project Lifesaver went live in Fort Bend County on 12-1-2011. Don't let the cost of the equipment be a barrier to implementing this program in your county. Most, if not all current clients have had their devices sponsored by a business and we conduct fundraising activities to pay for replacement batteries and wrist bands, which are changed monthly. Read a report by local KRIV Fox26 Houston News when they interviewed two of our advisory Board of Directors at this link:
Help us raise awareness for wandering and safety for our loved ones with autism. If you live in an area that does not have the Project Lifesaver International program, please contact PLI at 1-877-580-5433 http://www.projectlifesaver.org/ and they will help provide the necessary information to help bring the program to your community and to help increase prevention and safety in your community.
Option 1: Purchase a device for approx. $300 or a potential sponsor can cover that cost. Replacement bands and batteries are provided by KAS.
Option 2: If you are in a PLI area, and the agency approves, you can get a transmitter directly from PLI for $95.00 and pay $25.00 per month subscription fee.
If not in a PLI area you can get PAL. Project Lifesaver now has a solution and a new division specifically for Non-PLI areas, called “PAL” Protect and Locate. With the addition of PAL Project Lifesaver will help provide protection and safety to even more individuals who wander due to Autism, Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive conditions. Please visit http://www.projectlifesaver.org/Pal-info/ for more information about how to subscribe to PAL.
Law enforcement officer demonstrating a tracking device.
Many wandering-related deaths occur when children are drawn to water, fall in and drown. Teach your children how to swim or seek out swim lessons taught by a certified instructor with experience teaching special needs children how to swim.
This child is quickly learning how to swim with the help of a certified swim instructor.
Local swim programs:
Houston Swim Club
Year-round children’s indoor swim lessons.
Tracy Laman, owner
1711 N. Fry Road
Katy, TX 77449
Year-round children’s indoor swim lessons. Has enrolled and worked with special needs children, but classes are not specific to autism.
Houston (Private) Swim Lessons
They travel to your home pool to teach your children swimming lessons, offering a familiar environment for your children to help accelerate their progression.
KATY Aquatics SwimAmerica
5506 1st Street
Katy, TX 77493
For more information about Katy Aquatics Programs, send email to email@example.com.
Texas Swim Academy
Adaptive Aquatics Program
Katy, TX 77494
Caregiver Safety Toolkit:
In 2012, the National Autism Association found that from 2009 to 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism subsequent to wandering, and that 23% of total wandering-related deaths occurred while the child was in the care of someone other than a parent. You can download a caregivers toolkit from the National Autism Association Safety Initiative's AWAARE website http://awaare.org/, download and begin using your Big Red Safety Toolkit today. Enclosed, you will find:
•Family Wandering Emergency Plan (FWEP)
•First-responder profile form. Please fill out and provide a copy to your local law enforcement agencies.
•Swimming Lessons Tool
•Root-cause Scenario & Strategies Tool
•Stop Sign Prompts
•Sample IEP Letter. (Never allow restraint/seclusion practices into any IEP as this increases associated risks)
•How To Get Tracking Technology In Your Town
•General Awareness Letter: share with schools, homeowner’s association, law enforcement agencies,
•Five Affordable Safety Tools
•Caregiver Resources One-sheeter
A video for first responders by National Autism Association: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auJvlpWhb5E