Recently, Andrew Harrison, a WJTV news reporter, visited Jackson Autism Center and interviewed Dr. Rebecca Mullican and a few parents. The news story shows that Jackson Autism Center’s focus is on interventions specific to the child and family’s needs. These needs range from academic help to social, behavioral, communication, and even self help or toileting skills. Families receive special attention and answers to their questions as well as a guide along the autism journey. Children of all disabilities are welcome at JAC and will thrive with the attention they receive. Do not hesitate to contact us– whether your child was recently diagnosed or does not yet have a diagnosis, but you and your family need help. JAC is a growing community of help for individuals with disabilities and their families. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your community!
There will be free screenings for developmental delays on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 at Jackson Family Resource Center located at 301 Adelle St. The screenings are sponsored by The Early Years Network: Special Needs at USM. Contact Shelley Ezelle, M.S. at 601-432-6179 to sign up for a screening for your child. Children ages birth to five are eligible for the screenings. If you are concerned your child is not meeting milestones, this is a great opportunity to find out for sure! Screenings are not specific to autism.
One of the scariest experiences a parent can have is losing their child…in a department store, at home, or in a crowded area…regardless of the length of time. Now, say that child can not communicate his/her name, their parent’s names, or any other pertinent information. This is a fear and nightmare for many parents who have a child with autism. Approximately half of children on the autism spectrum wander or “elope,” according to the Interactive Autism Network. It is important for families, neighbors, friends, police officers, and communities as a whole know about autism and about elopement. Some children with autism are nonverbal or verbal but unable to consistently answer questions when asked, which makes it difficult for someone who is unfamiliar with the child or autism to get any response they can understand from them.
Recently, WJTV’s reporter, Andrew Harrison, took the time to visit Jackson Autism Center and talk with Dr. Rebecca Mullican and parents regarding autism and elopement. You can view that news story video below.
What can someone in the community do? It is important for communities to: post signs if a child with autism who wanders lives in the area, have an emergency plan in place for the child (phone numbers for parents or local police), and STAY CALM. Do what it takes to get the child to stay with you until their parents or help arrives (show them something interesting, let them look at something they are interested in, encourage a conversation, turn on a TV or use a tablet device, etc.) Keep in mind that many children with autism have sensory issues that make touch painful to them, so try not to touch or grab them unless necessary because this could lead to a meltdown.
Parents are doing many things that are unseen to the community to keep their child safe- from privacy fences to extra alarms and locks on doors to hiding keys and remotes. GPS location trackers are becoming more popular as well as items like temporary tattoos/shoelaces/bracelets with family information written on it.
One JAC family has decided they need something else in addition to the above items. Dominic has been escaping more frequently and it has become a major safety issue for him and his family. He will leave when it is dark outside, head towards roads, and does not understand general safety concerns and rules. Dominic’s family is getting a service dog that will be able to stay with him constantly and keep him from darting off. If you are interested in helping them reach their goal and bring Krypto home, you can donate through sdwr.org and type “Brenda Tobin” or directly here. They are also doing fundraisers with local businesses so please ask if your business may be interested. You can follow their story here.