J & J’s Gibberish: Cops and Autistics Part II – MEA CULPA

One mother's weekly journey in raising her special needs children. 

OK, so sometimes things are not exactly as they seem.  Last week I reported on a service to register your autistic kid so in the event he or she takes off and gets into a sticky situation, a cop can look them up in a database.  I didn’t quite get it right because no kidding, just the week before I wrote that, the service, which I said was being run by the Ottawa Police Services (OPS) was actually transferred to MedicAlert Foundation Canada, a not-for-profit organization.  You know them.  You no doubt have seen their bracelets before.

I totally get how this will make it easier for the OPS because MedicAlert does for a living and has got this down to an art.  MedicAlert has partnered with other police agencies, such as Edmonton, Vancouver, Durham, Hamilton, Owen Sound and Abbotsford Police Services and have provided services to over one million Canadians for over 55 years so they do know what they are doing.

The MedicAlert Connect Protect service is what I reported last week, a service that gives emergency responders and healthcare providers quick and secure, 24/7 access to a subscriber's electronic medical profile. Any vulnerable-sector person (including autistic people) can add their information to the MedicAlert database to help police assist them during an emergency situation.

This is all great and as I said, it will provide peace of mind to parents and caregivers.  But there was one word in all of this that bothered me: the word SUBSCRIBER. 

MedicAlert naturally charges for the service and you also have to pay for the bracelet.  It is a not-for-profit so it is hard to complain but it still costs money.  How much?  For one year, it is $60 per year plus the cost of the medical ID bracelet, which starts at $39.

For more information on the MedicAlert Connect Protect service, please visit ottawapolice.ca/MedicAlert or medicalert.ca/ConnectProtect.  You can also call 1.888.769.5437. 

Even though it isn’t a free service, MedicAlert has such a proven track record I am doing it for my boy anyway.