Palos Park Police join
Kind Find: Keeping Spectrum Kids Safe
Palos Park Police join Kind Find: Keeping Spectrum Kids Safe
is a program designed to gently and safely approach and/or
find children and dependent adults with autism spectrum
disorders. It is a voluntary way for parents to provide
information on their children to first responders. Officer
Ross Chibe will oversee the program.
While all children may wander or
be abducted, children with ASDs are especially at risk. Many
of these children are unable to ask for help or express
their needs due to their poor communication skills. Some of
them may not be capable of understanding individuals like
police officers, fire fighters and others who are there to
help them. They may become fearful of first responders and
either run away or try to fight them.
In a first encounter, regardless
of whether the stranger does or does not mean harm, a child
with autism may panic or react unpredictably. In other
instances, high-functioning children and young adults on the
autism spectrum, who appear perfectly typical, may come
across as rude and/or obstinate in unfamiliar situations. If
misinterpreted by police, these behaviors may cause a minor
incident to develop into a major situation.
Kind Find: Keeping Spectrum Kids
Safe is designed to be effective while being inexpensive for
police departments. The program is simple:
1. Parents or guardians
fill out the registration form and attach two
photographs of the child or young adult. They keep
several copies for themselves to put in their wallets
2. The original photographs and the information on the
child will be kept in a file specifically for children
and young adults with autism at the local police station
for reference when needed.
Our goal is to provide
awareness to first responders and to prevent unfortunate
circumstances from developing. We hope that by setting up an
easy way for parents to provide their children’s
information, communication will be enhanced on both sides.