Opinion

Autism IDs could prove beneficial

With just six letters, “autism” is a word that tends to create more questions than it answers.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability that creates impairments in social interactions such as verbal and nonverbal communication, according to the American Psychological Association.

In emergency situations, loud noises and flashing lights can fluster someone with autism, making it difficult for them to react or verbalize problems.

With this scenario in mind, the University of Miami’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) announced a partnership with the Coral Gables Police Department and the Disability Independence Group to create an autism identification card. The purpose of this wallet card would be to identify an individual’s specific circumstances to first responders in an emergency situation. The card would be presented along with a photo ID.

An autism ID card is a good solution to spread awareness about autism, and it allows individuals to live their lives more independently. However, it must remain voluntary to avoid making people feel like they are being labeled according to their position on the spectrum.

Having this type of ID would allow first responders to better understand autism. Rather than thinking someone is acting defiantly by not cooperating with orders, they will learn that this person may not be able to respond to questions or directions.

“It will help set the stage that the person’s communication might not be typical, they might speak slowly, or not give information in the expected order,” said Diane Adreon, associate director of UM-CARD in a press release.

Being able to apply for a card will give people the choice to carry it around or not, which will make people more comfortable using the card. Since the card is kept inside a wallet, it will not always be broadcasting a personal medical condition.

It must also be regulated to protect it from abuse. Currently the application is online and does not require any medical or psychological assessments confirming a person’s disability. People without disabilities may decide to apply for a card to take advantage of the law.

Despite misconceptions about autism, individuals with autism are people who are out leading their lives – they just require some specific care. For many with autism, self-advocacy can be difficult. This card would give them some help in explaining their situation and in leading average lives in their communities.

If this ID card will allow people to feel more confident going out in their community, then it should be encouraged.

Ashley Martinez is a senior majoring in journalism and psychology.

September 11, 2014

Reporters

Ashley Martinez

Ashley Martinez is a senior majoring in journalism and psychology, which have sharpened her people-watching skills. She has worked as a staff writer, copy editor, assistant editor and is now the Edge arts and entertainment editor at The Miami Hurricane. She serves as the president of UM's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Her work has been featured in The Hurricane, Distraction Magazine, The Communique, Gables Home Page and The Miami Herald. When she's not working on a story, she loves going to the theatre and singing show tunes.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

For the first time since Mark Richt benched N’Kosi Perry for Malik Rosier in the Miami Hurricanes’ l ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ offense has struggled for about a month now and Saturday there was no bigger c ...

Thoughts and postscripts after UM’s 27-21 loss at Georgia Tech on Saturday: ▪ If Mark Richt intends ...

The Miami Hurricanes have spiraled into a deep dive, with little time left to surface for air. In a ...

When Jack Spicer first booted away a 38-yard punt early in the second quarter against the Georgia Te ...

Get set for a whirlwind of information on critical issues facing the planet and how to tell those st ...

Professors and staff from UM are offering students an in-class introduction to gardening and food pr ...

The 2018 midterm election shifts the balance of power in Congress, with women playing a huge role. ...

UM alumna, one-time Miami Dolphins cheerleader, and National Geographic explorer Mireya Mayor lives ...

The “It’s On Us” Student Ambassador Program empowers peers to overcome sexual misconduct and gender ...

The Hurricanes advance to the Preseason WNIT semifinals. ...

The University of Miami volleyball team fell to North Carolina, 3-1, on Veteran's Day at Carmic ...

The No. 25/24 Miami women's basketball team will resume play in the Preseason WNIT Sunday after ...

The Hurricanes fall to Georgia Tech in Atlanta Saturday night. ...

Freshmen Franco Aubone and Kaya Gore of the University of Miami men's tennis team captured a do ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.