The Devon Autism Alert Card: Who is it for?

On this page:

  • Who can be a cardholder of the Devon Autism Alert Card
  • Why the Card is for everybody, not just individuals on the Autism Spectrum
  • How the card is valuable for members of the Autism Community who are not on the Autism Spectrum
  • How the card is for all for Devon, whether they are part of the Autism Community or not 

Devon Autism Alert Card is for everybody in Devon Plymouth and Torbay

Who can be a cardholder of the Devon Autism Alert Card? 

 

The Autism Alert Card can be issued to individuals of age 11 and above who live anywhere in Devon. This includes areas covered by Devon County Council, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council.

This card is not yet available in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly but please keep in contact with us for ongoing news about this. You can sign up to our email newsletter on the left.

The card is usable in other areas. Many regions have similar schemes and people will recognise the validity of the card.

  • If the cardholder is a minor then the application needs to made by a parent or guardian
  • If the applicant is an adult who is not comfortable with forms and/or the application process, then the application can be made by a responsible adult

You’ll find details of the Devon Autism Alert Card application process here.

All applicants must:

  • Be diagnosed as on the Autism Spectrum and...
    • Supply us with the name and address of where they were diagnosed
    • Be willing to supply us with proof of diagnosis if we ask, or give us permission to approach their GP or place of diagnosis if we wish
    • Allow us to store their details on our secure database in order to keep track of cardholders

or… 

  • Declare themselves as being on the Spectrum without a diagnosis and...
    • Intend to start the diagnostic process within a reasonable time period
    • Have an AQ score that meets the criteria of possible Autism (available here: http://aspergerstest.net/aq-test/ )
    • Be willing to update us on their diagnostic process when we wish
    • Allow us to store their details on our secure database in order to keep track of cardholders 

Of course you might be wondering about our data storage. Read about our Autism Card data storage policy

If you are a parent or guardian of a child on the Autism Spectrum below the age of 11

Please contact us or fill out the form for children with Autism below the age of 11.

We will keep in contact with you and offer you a card when your child is 11. Before that why not sign up to our newsletter as well [LINK].

If we have your family’s details to hand, it will be easier to support you should you ever need it.

We can also send you a ‘Autism on Board’ sticker for your car in case you are involved in an accident and want the emergency services to know automatically that your child is Autistic.

Who else is the Autism Alert Card for?

The Autism Alert Card is not just for the the Autistic Community. Many people’s lives are affected by Autism without being Autistic themselves, many people work with Autistic individuals and many people will come across individuals with Autism in their lives.

The card is to help all these, even if they do not carry it.

  • All families, friends, carers, professionals, health workers and educators who are either part of the Autistic Community or who have regular contact with folks on the Autism Spectrum.
  • Everybody who might be shown the card: shop assistants,police officers, librarians, emergency service personnel, Local Authority workers, business people, train guards…. the list goes on and on.

Affected by Autism though not Autistic?

 

Do Autistic individuals play a part in any part of your personal, family, or professional life?

Just as the autism Alert Card is not just a card but a whole support scheme, it is as much a support scheme for these groups as it is for individuals with Autism.

You care and you matter. Helping you make your life easier or your work more effective means we all benefit and the world will change.

You might be

  • Someone with Autism in their family
  • A friend of an Autistic individual
  • A carer for a person with Autism
  • A health worker with patients on the Autism Spectrum
  • A professional working in the field of Autism
  • An educator with students on the Autism Spectrum

For family or friends, knowing that an autistic individual has the card makes life easier. Helping them incorporate it into their lives and being sure they are happy to use is even better.

For professionals, using the card as part of a care program, educating Autistics about it consistently or finding ways to ensure that is constantly carried and used when needed brings benefits to you and the Autistic individual.

We have a dedicated page on how to help individuals incorporate it into their lives here

On top of this we can supply leaflets and information for you to display and pass on to help others

How valuable is it to be shown the Autism Card by an individual with Autism?

 

It is next to impossible to identify an Autistic individual. Sometimes there are clues: posture, way of talking, no eye contact… but these are so variable within the community not only from person to person but also from situation to situation that they are next to useless as indicators.

On top of that some physical indicators are shared with folks who are not on the Spectrum.

So if you do not know that someone is on the Autism Spectrum you might be seeing the Autistic individual as the problem.

Once you are shown the card, you can now recognise that you are looking at an individual who is having problems in a confusing environment; Someone who can not conform to mainstream standards of behaviour or communication either generally or in this specific situation. Someone who is being overwhelmed because they do not have your abilities in this situation.

That observation makes life very different. You can do something about it. This page is a start: What you can do if you are shown the Autism Alert Card

Being shown the card means you have a rare chance to identify where there is a problem and alter it.

It might be difficult - the problem could be you or the local environment, too much small talk or a communication misunderstanding, the wrong tone of voice or eye contact… or, more often, a combination of factors.

Or maybe there is no problem yet, and you are being shown the card to prevent problems arising.

Either way, the Autism Alert Card along with the support system that comes with it is as much for you as it is for everybody else

Find out more here: what you can do if you are shown the Autism Alert Card.