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These Cards Are Trying to Make Life Easier for Drivers With Autism

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Not everyone understands autism — including first responders. And if an individual on the spectrum is, say, pulled over, it may be difficult for him or her to act in a way society deems appropriate. To prevent any misunderstandings, the Autism Society of Alabama (ASA) has partnered with the Alabama Department of Public Safety to create autism identification cards (below) that people with autism can show first responders if need be.

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Draft of front
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Draft of back

Since announcing plans for the card (which has not been released yet), hundreds of parents and caretakers have requested one for a loved one, Bama Hagar, ASA’s Police and Program Advisor, told The Mighty in an email. Hager’s 14-year-old son has autism.

“The communication and delayed processing challenges associated with [autism] may be interpreted as noncompliance by an officer, for example,” Hager told The Mighty. “The card, kept near the person’s ID or non driver ID could be presented so a first responder is alerted to the presence of ASD symptomatology.”

Families who wish to apply for an ASD Alabama identification card may email Bama Hager at or call the Autism Society of Alabama for information on date of availability.

A similar initiative is gaining traction in Florida, too, according to The University of Miami. The Disability Independence Group (DIG), The Coral Gables Police Department (CGPD) and the UM-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) have teamed up to create The Wallet Card Project.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” Lt. Bart Barta of the Coral Gables Police Department in Coral Gables, Florida, told The University of Miami. “It helps both sides in any given situation with law enforcement and first responders, when people might be stressed.”

You can head here to request a customized card from The Wallet Card Project.

Originally published: February 6, 2015
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