AUTISM: MedicAlert AK Autism Band Launch

Ok, so most of you probably know by now that April is Autism Awareness month.

{If you follow me on Twitter, you will be in no doubt at all by now!}

 

Those of you who read The Thought Bubble regularly will also know that autism is something that is very close to my heart, affecting as it does both Chipmunk and myself.

 

I was really honoured recently to be invited to attend an event in London, whereMedicAlert were launching their first ever range of bands for people with autism – The AK Autism Bands.

{I say I was invited. I pretty much asked begged for an invitation, and the lovely folks atMedicAlert agreed!}

I had been hoping that these bands would be introduced in the UK, as so far the only place that seemed to do anything remotely similar was Canada. I’m really pleased that it’sMedicAlert who have taken up the baton and made bands for people with autism available. The charity already does a fantastic job looking after people with many different illnesses and disabilities. They provide bracelets, necklaces and other items which have the patients details inscribed, so that in an emergency they can be treated quickly and effectively by emergency services. MedicAlert also hold full details on the patient, which they release to the appropriate person in an emergency, to ensure that the staff providing treatment can do so safely and successfully.

 

So, how does this relate to people – children and adults – with autism? Well, the bands work in the same way as other MedicAlert products, in that they make people aware that the wearer suffers with an ASD. They hold details in the same way, and in an emergency situation they can provide further information via their telephone line – which is staffed by the London Ambulance Service.

 

It’s a fantastic system.

 

Personally, I think the autism bands are a huge step forward for those involved with the autism community. Plus, the bands were designed by youngsters whose lives have been touched by autism. I think this is truly amazing, and a great way to connect with the kids (and adults) who will be wearing them.

 

Here is what they look like:

Aren’t they fab?! Chipmunk would love one, I know. He might even wear it!

 

As for the launch itself? It was amazing!

 

Firstly, it was in London. I love London. Plus, I had some time to kill when I got there, and just so happened to be on Oxford Street – shopping bliss!

I was very good, and managed to only buy a couple of gifts for Chipmunk. Most restrained of me, I think!

 

The launch was held at the London College of Fashion – can you think of a less suitable location for me to be? Hah! It’s ok though, I made an effort.

 

I got to listen to (and have a quick chat with!) Anna Kennedy – the AK of the bands’ title – a truly inspirational lady who has managed to single-handedly give me and countless others hope for the future. If you are in any way affected by autism, I strongly recommend that you visit Anna’s website.

We were entertained by some truly gifted students whose lives are touched by autism, and see some beautiful photographs of really wonderful children who live with autism.

And as an added bonus, I got to say hello to the awesome Kathy Lette, whose next book will mention autism. In fact, my brief conversation with Kathy became the highlight of my whole trip, when she told me I was pretty after I said I didn’t want my picture taken with her.

I nearly fainted.

In fact, she must have thought I was a bit odd because when she said it I just stood there with my mouth open, completely at a loss as to what to say next. In the end, I just smiled and took her picture!

{Oh, the shame!}


Kathy, I love you, you’re great! There is nothing like a world-famous bestselling author telling you you’re pretty to boost the confidence :D

 

From a personal perspective, I think that wearing his AK autism band may well serve as a reminder to those involved with Chipmunk that he does have HF-ASD.

He might be sitting there quietly.

He might get 100% in a spelling test.

He still needs help.

 

These bands are fantastic on so many levels. For making people aware of someone’s needs, for providing information in an emergency – and simply offering a sense of reassurance that may not have been there before.

Why not order one today?

 

This is not a sponsored post. It’s just a cause I really believe in and something I happen to think is pretty darn important, actually.

N.B. I apologise for the really crappy photos. I forgot to take my proper camera (oops) so I was using my iPhone. The light in the building was really harsh and I was shaking so much through the entire event that there was no hope of getting a blur-free shot!

*mutters a few more excuses here*

Sorry.

 

bubbleboo is a freelance writer, photographer and carer of her son who has high-functioning autism

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